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THE Government has announced that it is ‘strongly minded’ to allow a science-led cull of badgers as part of measures to control bovine TB in England.
Speaking on July 19, Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State at Defra, said that bovine TB was set to cost England £1 billion over the next decade unless further action was taken to deal with it.
‘We cannot go on like this,’ she said. ‘Many farmers are desperate and feel unable to control the disease in their herds. And we know that unless we tackle the disease in badgers we will never be able to eradicate it in cattle. We also know that there is no country in the world which has successfully controlled TB in cattle without addressing its presence in the wildlife population.’
She acknowledged that there was ‘great strength of feeling’ regarding badger culling. ‘I know that a large section of the public is opposed to culling, and that many people are particularly concerned about whether it will actually be effective in reducing TB in cattle and about whether it will be humane.
‘I wish there was some other practical way of dealing with this, but we can't escape the fact that the evidence …