Farmers warn of 1bn TB bill

22 June 1999

Farmers warn of £1bn TB bill

THE National Farmers Union (NFU) says the bill for controlling tuberculosis (TB) in cattle will reach almost £1 billion, reports The Daily Telegraph.

It claims the incidence of TB has escalated since the government banned new badger-culling operations two years ago.

TB is now spreading so rapidly that culls were needed in “hot spots” in the West Country and Midlands, according to an NFU report

The NFU wants extra compensation for livestock farmers, saying that TB cases have nearly doubled since 1996.

About 1500 farms in England and Wales are under government restrictions because cows are affected by the disease.

The number of cattle affected is increasing at the rate of 23% a year, which could take the number of farms under restrictions in England to 4000 by 2006.

Meanwhile, animal activists have been blamed for an upsurge in barn fires and other damage as tensions rise in badger wars, reports The Guardian.

The NFU claims farmers are being sent hate mail in attempts to stop them co-operating with experimental culling programmes to slow the spread of TB.

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