Landowners ask for badger cull pilots to go uninterrupted
South West Landowners have called for the badger cull pilot schemes to be allowed to go ahead without interruption as the trail rolls out in Somerset and Gloucestershire this week.
The trials are to test whether shooting offers a humane, safe and effective option for culling infected badgers and Country Land and Business Association (CLA) South West Director, John Mortimer, says it is essential that the pilot schemes are allowed to go ahead without disruption in order to get a clear answer to that question.
“These proposals have survived the democratic process, having been debated in Parliament and tested in the courts and must now be allowed to proceed. The companies and farmers engaged in the pilot control operations and the politicians who have been brave enough to tackle this issue have our unqualified support.
“These pilot schemes are a vital start to a programme to tackle and, eventually, eradicate Bovine TB which is as debilitating a disease for wildlife as it is for cattle - yet the action to combat it has never been equivalent to the scale of the problem. The cost to the public purse will top a billion pounds over ten years but the cost in human terms, the misery and suffering caused to farming families, is immeasurable.”
Mr Mortimer said that no country in the world had managed to get on top of the disease without tackling it in wildlife.
“Culling is only one part of a variety of measures that will have to be employed to beat this disease and bio-security, cattle movement controls and, eventually, vaccine will all have a part to play. But there is currently no deployable vaccine which can cure an infected badger and there are no vaccines licensed for use in cattle either to prevent or control bovine TB.”