Bovine tuberculosis - badger culls or better cattle controls
Why cull badgers or restrict cattle movements?
Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is an infectious disease of cattle. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) which can also infect and cause disease in many other mammals including badgers.
It’s a devastating disease, and causes grief to so many, particularly within the farming community. Some believe that badgers play a large part in the spread of bovine TB amongst cattle.
Bovine TB vaccinations
We believe that by improving the welfare of cattle through better husbandry, increased levels of testing and improved biosecurity are more effective ways of dealing with bTB in the long term.
We also believe that vaccination of badgers and cattle has an important part to play in the management of this disease. We feel that a new approach is needed to tackle this disease, to better serve the farmers who are stricken by the effects of bTB, their cattle and the badgers.
Badger cull areas in England
The UK Government has licensed a number of badger culls in England in recent years.
We, along with more than 30 eminent scientists have described badger culls as a 'costly distraction' that actually risks making the problem of bTB in cattle worse, and that will cost far more than it saves.
An alternative approach to tackling bovine TB in Wales
The Welsh Government has specifically ruled out an ‘England-style’ cull and has taken a different approach - with improved cattle movement restrictions and badger vaccination in on Intensive Action Area. The Welsh Government is currently consulting on how to take its fight against bTB forward.