Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control
Environment Food and Rural Affairs
Mary Creagh (Wakefield, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) what the full contingency costs are for the planned badger cull which he has lodged with Natural England;
(2) whether his Department will pay for the badger cull if farmers do not complete it;
(3) what plans Ministers in his Department have put in place to ensure that the badger cull in pilot areas goes ahead for the full four planned years.
David Heath (Somerton and Frome, Liberal Democrat)
Licensees and all participating farmers are required to enter into agreements which set out their obligations once a licence is granted and, if necessary and as a last resort, allow Government to intervene, access all participating land, take over responsibility for a culling operation, and recover the costs from the licensee and/or participants. It is for licence applicants to put in place arrangements to deposit sufficient funds in a reputable bank to cover the total cost of a four-year cull, plus a contingency sum of 25%. The funds must be managed in line with the requirements set out in the Badger Control Agreement, including the requirement to ensure that at all times the amount remaining in the account is sufficient to ensure that culling is carried out in accordance with the licence and the Badger Control Agreement.