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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of scientific advice on the effectiveness of a badger cull in reducing rates of bovine tuberculosis in England.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The results of the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) showed that badger culling, when done on a sufficient scale in a widespread, co-ordinated and efficient way, and over a sustained period of time, would reduce the incidence of bovine TB in cattle in high incidence areas.

The evidence base on the effects of culling badgers on TB incidence in cattle was recently assessed at a meeting between DEFRA’s chief scientific adviser, chief veterinary officer and a panel of independent experts. The key conclusions from this meeting, which includes the most up to date results of the ongoing post-RBCT analysis were recently published on the DEFRA website at

http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/documents/bovinetb-scientificexperts-110404.pdf

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