Eyecare Tips

New Government Reiterates Commitment To Badger Cull, UK

April 10, 2017

The new Defra Ministers have reiterated their commitment to badger control measures to tackle bovine Tuberculosis (TB).

Speaking at the Devon County Show, Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, said the new Government is considering how best to roll out the policy, ensuring that it is based on the science.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:

"We welcomed the commitment to a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis in the Conservative Party's manifesto and we were therefore very pleased to see it reappear in the coalition government's programme.

"Although there was some national media speculation about the strength of this commitment, we understand the position that the new Ministers are in and we did not expect them to announce a cull in England overnight.

"Ministers should not make any statements that could prejudice a future Judicial Review and instead must take a scientific approach, similar to that in Wales where Minister Elin Jones made the decision with the advice and support of the Chief Veterinary Officer.

"The BVA has long argued for the widest range of measures to be deployed in the tackling of bovine TB and we are very pleased that the Government understands the need for an approach that utilises all of the available tools; including stricter cattle control measures, and an effective method of tackling the wildlife reservoir.

"The next step is for the ministerial team to get fully up to speed, learning from what is happening in Wales and using the expert and independent advice of TBEG, which includes representatives of the veterinary profession."


1. BVA policy on bovine TB

British Veterinary Association