Bovine Tuberculosis

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Iain McKenzie Iain McKenzie Labour, Inverclyde

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the benefits and costs of a nationwide badger cull; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to our strategy to make England free of bovine TB, of which culling badgers in areas where the disease is rife is a key element. The outcome of this year’s cull in Somerset indicates that industry-led culling can, in the right circumstances, deliver the level of effectiveness required to be confident of achieving disease control benefits.

The results for Gloucestershire show that continued progress is needed taking into account the additional challenges of interference and harassment by activists. The cost of the badger cull pilots in 2013 was £6.3 million. The estimated cost of England failing to tackle bovine TB is estimated to be £1 billion in the next decade.

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