Planned badger cull is delayed

The Government has confirmed it is to delay two badger cull pilot schemes to tackle TB in cattle until next summer, claiming it is at the request of the National Farmer's Union.

Latest ITV News reports

New badger TB vaccination inquiry launched

A new inquiry will be launched to examine the vaccination of badgers and cattle in relation to Bovine TB, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has said.

The inquiry is expected to cover the likely timescales and challenges in delivering vaccination programmes, their costs and efficacy, and whether a vaccination programme could be delivered without having a negative effect on UK exports.

Badger cull 'was not a U-turn'

by Emily Morgan, ITV News Reporter

Plans to cull thousands of badgers in England to tackle tuberculosis in cattle have been abandoned until next summer.

The Environment Secretary Owen Patterson insisted it was not a government U-turn and the delay had been caused by the Olympics, legal proceedings and bad weather.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Badger cull study: 'no meaningful' effect on TB

When in power, Labour ruled out a cull of badgers in England after a study concluded it could make "no meaningful" contribution to addressing TB control in cattle.

  • The study looked at culling badgers over a 60 square mile area over four years, reducing the population by around 70%.
  • It found that culling reduced TB in cattle inside the cull area but it led badgers to move around, thereby increasing the disease in the areas adjacent to the cull.
  • Later results from the trial showed that, overall, the widespread, repeated culling of badgers could reduce the incidence of disease in cattle herds by up to 16% over a decade.
  • The method used to kill the badgers was to trap them and then shoot them, an expensive process which researchers calculated was not cost-effective.

Cull delayed because it wouldn't be effective

The cull was delayed after farmers said they may not be able to kill enough of the wild animals to make the scheme effective.

It had also emerged there were more badgers in the cull areas in Somerset and Gloucestershire than previously estimated, meaning that more would have to be killed to meet the 70% target needed for the programme to be effective.

Load more updates