• Badger Cull

    17 October 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about controlling the spread of bovine TB.

    Bovine TB is one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK. It not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but costs taxpayers £100 million each year. 

    In England, the UK Government is delivering a 25-year strategy to eradicate this disease and protect the UK’s dairy and beef industries. This includes one of the world’s most rigorous cattle surveillance programmes, strong movement controls, promoting good biosecurity and badger control where the disease is rife.

    As part of this strategic approach, culling continues to play an important role in England. Operations continue with new and supplementary licences issued in the High Risk Area of England, and in the Low Risk Area of England in the rare event that disease in badgers is linked with infected herds, to prevent further spread. I believe that all necessary measures must be used to eradicate this devastating disease, and Ministers are encouraged to note early success. 

    In Wales, this is a devolved issue and the Welsh Government has adopted a more targeted approach, which includes a selective badger cull that involves removing badgers that test positive for TB near cattle herds with persistent TB breakdowns. However, I am aware that this approach has received criticism from the National Farmers Union Cymru, which claims that progress has been static.

    Indeed, too many farming families in Wales are continuing to suffer the impact, both emotionally and financially, of bovine TB. My Conservative colleagues in Welsh Assembly have called on the Welsh Government to follow the lessons from England and move forward with a strategy that achieves the shared goal of a healthy wildlife and cattle population.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon