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IN their letter entitled ‘Bovine TB in the pilot badger cull zone in Gloucestershire’ (VR, February 21, 2015, vol 176, p 208), Blowey and others claim that data derived from veterinary practices serving some farmers within the pilot badger cull zone in Gloucestershire show significant declines in bovine TB reactors. They appear to suggest the pilot badger culls may have resulted in dramatic reductions in TB in cattle. Mr Blowey has subsequently been quoted as saying ‘I can think of no other reason other than the culling of infected badgers as to why there should be such a decrease in the level of bovine TB in the county.’
Within a couple of days of the letter's publication, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, announced at the National Farmers' Union's (NFU) annual conference that, if re-elected, the Conservative Party would roll out badger culling more widely. NFU president, Meurig Raymond, made reference to the data in his response to the …
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