Badger cull urged as latest figures show Bovine TB continues to spread
Cornwall saw 400 new incidents of Bovine TB in 2012, it has emerged today.
Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show the lethal disease is still having a huge effect on farmers in the county.
Defra said the new statistics highlighted the ongoing impact on the dairy and beef industry.
The figure of 400 new incidents is down from 423 in 2011 but higher than the 381 incidents in 2010.
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Farming Minister David Heath said:"Bovine TB continues to spread at an unacceptable rate, leading to the slaughter of thousands of cattle and ongoing misery for our dairy farmers. "What was once confined to a small area of the south west has the potential to become a national crisis and if left unchecked could cost the taxpayer £1billion over the next ten years.
"We cannot afford to sit back and let this happen, which is why we are doing everything we can to get on top of this dreadful disease."
The National Farmers Union (NFU) president Peter Kendall said that today's figures hammered home the fact that TB was out of control and that cattle measures alone would not help to combat the disease.
He said: "Today, I repeat our commitment to the Government's TB eradication plan which involves tighter cattle controls and increased on-farm biosecurity and we remain convinced that, as today's figures clearly demonstrate, cattle controls alone are not enough to tackle this disease while we have a reservoir of TB in our wildlife.
"Badger controls play a fundamental part in ridding our countryside of TB once and for all."