Badger cull report is slammed

A SOMERSET animal rescue group as hit out at comments made by a Government chief that badger culling could combat the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

A SOMERSET animal rescue group has hit out at comments made by a Government chief that badger culling could combat the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Staff at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill are angry at the announcement this week that the Government’s chief scientist, Sir David King, said culling could be effective if it was carried out in contained areas such as land near motorways and coastlines.

Charity founder Pauline Kidner said: “It is the political bodies that drive this never-ending argument forward.

“The disease is not a health problem to humans as we drink pasteurised milk and cooked beef. Perhaps if we introduce post-testing of cattle like they do in Scotland we would resolve the problem even quicker.”


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But National Farmers’ Union (NFU) spokesman Peter Body says the cost of losing cattle far outweighs the loss of badgers.

Peter, who owns a cattle farm between The Best Western Webbington Hotel in Loxton and Winscombe, said: “Groups against badger culling are telling us to test cattle for bovine TB, but the tests aren’t 100 per cent accurate.

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“A few years ago we had tests on our farm and three cattle proved positive. After they were slaughtered the post mortem showed they didn’t have TB.

“A top notch heifer can fetch £2,000 at market, so you can imagine the loss farmers suffer.

“Getting rid of unhealthy badgers is the only way. No farmer in their right mind would kill healthy badgers as they are territorial animals and unhealthy ones may move in if healthy ones are killed.”

Government ministers are now deciding whether to introduce badger culling to prevent bovine TB.

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