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Stackyard News Jun 06

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Badger Trust "disappointed" by beef farmers' "cynical threats"

The Badger Trust today expressed disappointment at the "cynical threats" of the National Beef Association (NBA).


The NBA's chairman, Duff Burrell, yesterday claimed that the Government risks 'losing essential farmer cooperation for further adoption of its Animal Health and Welfare Strategy', unless it culls badgers .

Mr Burrell also claims that it is 'virtually inevitable' that TB will cost tax payers 'at least £2 billion' over the next ten years and that the disease could 'swamp' unaffected parts of Britain, if a 'large scale badger cull' is not implemented.

Trevor Lawson, Badger Trust spokesman, said: "This is a disappointing and deeply cynical threat. Is Mr Burrell really suggesting that his members will deny their animals the best standards of health and welfare in order to make a political point? Tax payers, who subsidise his industry, will be appalled. Threats like these will not win farmers any support.

"The NBA has to show some maturity over the TB issue. Badger culling is simply not feasible as a means to control TB. Rather than arguing about badgers, farmers should be forming alliances with us and other concerned organisations to put pressure on Defra to fully fund a comprehensive testing regime to control TB.

"More frequent skin testing, the introduction of post-movement testing and the widespread use of the gamma interferon TB test will put a stranglehold on TB. But as long as farmers pick fights over badgers, the Government can avoid paying for better testing. Farmers are doing themselves untold harm with this muddled thinking. They have backed themselves into a corner over the badger issue and Defra is content to abandon them there."

link Defra cannot let farmers down over badger cull, says NBA
link NFU "mired in confusion" over bovine TB
link NFU badger culling demand "laughable" say conservationists
link How we beat bovine TB before: Badger Trust

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