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County NFU chairman determined to see badger cull in Dorset

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

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THE chairman of Dorset NFU says he is determined to have a badger cull in Dorset during his two-year term of office to help control bovine TB.

Paul Gould made the announcement to members at his inaugural meeting at Dorchester this week.

According to the NFU, trials at Steeple Leaze in Dorset during the 1970s showed that TB could be brought under control by culling badgers as well as cattle. Mr Gould's 160-cow dairy herd has been plagued by the disease for the past five years.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 09 2012, 6:43PM

    A BOVINE TB vaccine for cattle is unlikely to be available for at least six years, if at all, according to NFU president Peter Kendall, who has discussed the issue in Brussels this week. Mr Kendall said commission officials 'absolutely clear' that the BCG vaccine's current effectiveness of 50-60 per cent protection in cattle was 'not good enough'. Scientists normally work on the basis that vaccines needs to be 70-80 effective to be considered a robust disease control tool. Cattle vaccination is not currently permitted in the EU because of concerns that vaccinating cattle would interfere with the skin test, which is the primary TB control method in the EU. Mr Kendall added that the commission was also concerned that the UK was not doing enough to control cattle-to-cattle spread or control the disease in wildlife. Commission officials told him, for example, that France adopts a policy of whole-herd slaughter and culling infected wildlife to control bTB. "They want tighter and tighter cattle controls," he said. Mr Kendall said he stressed that whole-herd slaughter would not be an option in South West hotspot areas where up to a quarter of herds are infected and that farmers already faced cattle controls that 'compromise farmers' ability to farm'.

  • Clued-Up  |  December 08 2012, 7:22PM

    It is the public's "very clear intention" the badger cull will NOT take place. They're very ably supported by the scientists (who say cattle bTB is a cattle disease best controlled by the tighter management of cattle movement belatedly introduced and already reducing the incidence of cattle bTB); by the economists (who say a cull would cost far, far more than it would ever save, with most of the costs being picked up by the tax-payer); and nationally respected wildlife and anti-cruelty organisations (who say this cull would cause immense and unnecessary suffering to badgers). Paul Gould and co should be lobbying government to hurry up with the UK testing of the cattle bTB vaccine. It works in other countries, it'll almost certainly work here. They also need to push government to get on with negotiating approval from the EU to use the vaccine.

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