To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to concentrate badger cull trials on diseased badgers; and if she will make a statement.
The culling of badgers is only licensed where there is a recognised, established reservoir of disease in badgers.
We have evidence of TB in badgers from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) which stretched from Cornwall to Staffordshire, as well as from scientific studies at two sites in Gloucestershire and I understand that TB has recently been found in badgers as far north as Cheshire and as far east as Oxfordshire.
Culling badgers reduced TB in cull areas in the RBCT while epidemiological analysis by APHA and others and on-farm assessment also show that badgers are implicated in many breakdowns.
The culling of badgers is therefore necessary in those parts of the country where existing cattle controls cannot contain the epidemic.