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Badgers to be culled in England’s low-risk area

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By Matthew Limb

The government has decided to allow badger culls for the first time in the area of England currently deemed at low risk for the spread of bovine TB.

Announcing the plans in a ministerial statement last week, minister of state for agriculture, fisheries and food George Eustice said that introducing badger control in the low-risk area (LRA) would reduce the potential for infectious contacts between badgers and cattle, prevent further geographic spread of TB in badgers and re-establish a disease-free badger population in the LRA.

He said culls in the LRA would only happen ‘in the rare event that disease in badgers was linked with infected cattle herds’.

Veterinary epidemiologists from the APHA would have to judge an area to meet the published criteria for a bovine TB ‘hotspot’ and decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis ‘after considering all …

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