Badger cull vital in bid to curb bovine TB, says Cumbrian NFU man
Last updated at 15:46, Friday, 21 September 2012
A successful badger cull is crucial if the march of bovine TB towards Cumbria is to be stopped.
County farmer and NFU delegate Alistair Mackintosh is a member of a Defra group looking at minimising the risks of the disease.
He said it was important that any cull was part of the attack and that all tools, including badger vaccination, should be used.
“Shooting badgers will not cure bovine TB but in my mind, it’s essential that these pilot culls work,” he said.
“If something is not done, it’s inevitable that bovine TB would continue to travel north to Cumbria.”
The first licence for a pilot cull of badgers has been issued, in a step the Government hopes will pave the way for more widespread culling.
Natural England issued the licence to allow farmers in west Gloucestershire to kill badgers, a protected species, on around 300 farms over the next four years.
As many as 3,000 badgers could be killed during the controversial cull.
Mr Mackintosh added: “It’s important for us that the disease in wildlife is tackled in other parts of the country.
“We’re all in this together, even if the disease isn’t widespread in Cumbria. This is a national problem not just a localised problem for those affected.
“These two pilot areas are mainly concentrating on whether a cull can be done properly. Once these areas are successful, it will roll out to other areas where the disease is prevalent.”
He said he was glad that his farm was home to many healthy badgers. Because of their territorial nature they would keep out stranger badgers, who maybe carrying infection.
There is currently no oral vaccine available for badgers, and no vaccine for cattle.
Around 26,000 cattle were slaughtered in 2011 as part of TB controls, with almost a quarter of farms under movement restrictions last year in the south west, a hotspot for the disease.
First published at 13:49, Friday, 21 September 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
Have your say
My grandfather farmed in the USA having emigrated in the late 1800's. His wife Mary Loton died there and he returned to GB with his young son. Being unable to cope on his own. He settled down and farmed in Derbyshire from where the family farmed for many decades. Through both world wars as I was informed farming was very hard work. I'll repeat what my late aunt Lucy (or her sister Lily/both typical yankee names) once said on his return to farming in Great Britain. He had said at the time, " This country is the best country in the world to farm, being the best for farming methods and the love of animals" I once talked to a retired farmer in a city park as the mention of the then cruelty to animals and he mentioned the railcar boxing by cowboys of cattle, as many as they could then get into a wagon. Without any regard to animal welfare. USA history shows the course that massive extinction did to native species, wiping out mass of herds such as the Buffalo. He added he would have loved animals and the British love for them then. That was a century ago. The USA made laws to stop such cruelty. World News Animal cruelty tales from UK.... Have we forgotten something? My earliest childhood memory of (my dads side) the families last being called Manor farm in Heage, Derbyshire is being told to keep away from a massive Black Bull. Thankfully the lovely beast was over a stone wall. What muscles! I came away at some childhood stage with pet Banty hen......
I felt sick when I head the first time about culling the badgers. Today, in 2012, no culling should be rectified. Badgers can be vaccinated, so can be the cattle. We are not talking about thousands of pounds. It is very cheep. We are priviledge to live in a country with badgers. I dont understand that not every country man/woman shouts out to stop the nonsense. I give with pleasure a pound of my wage for vaccination to protect the badger.
View all 13 comments on this article