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RABDF Welcomes Chief Scientist’s Support for Badger Cull
23/10/07

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has welcomed Government chief scientist, Sir David King’s report to ministers in which he advises a badger cull in areas where there is ‘a high and persistent incidence of bTB, provided removal takes place alongside an effective programme of cattle controls’.

cattle

However, the association has expressed surprise that the recommendation has come from Sir David, rather than Defra, the department responsible for bTB, and that it is completely at odds with those made less than four months ago by the Independent Scientific Group (ISG).

“Sir David’s conclusions are extremely practical; they are in fact what we and other members of the industry have been suggesting for the last 10 years,” comments RABDF chairman, Lyndon Edwards. “These measures are sheer common sense and the first step towards what we hope is a sensible strategy that will be acceptable to all. It really is wonderful news to find a chief government advisor accepting what farmers consider to be the obvious.

“However, to farmers the announcement will also come as confusing because it contradicts the ISG report findings released in June, which concluded that badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB in Britain,” he said. “Furthermore, we find it surprising that the announcement has come from Sir David and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills when bTB is the responsibility of Defra, and its minister Lord Rooker had been scheduled to make an announcement before the end of the month.”

He added: “While it demonstrates the lack of joined up thinking between the two departments, we trust Sir David’s recommendations will lead to removal of bTB among our beleaguered livestock sector in which this insidious disease has led to bankruptcies among farmers as well as considerable heartache throughout our rural communities.”

link Chief Scientific Adviser Recommends Badger Cull
link RABDF/Defra Farm Health Planning Award 2007
link US Announces Boost for FAO's Bird Flu Programme

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