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.

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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.