Badgers and Cattle TB: Final Report of Select Committee Published

The EFRA Select Committee has today published the final report of its inquiry into badgers and cattle TB.  The Committee find that current measures to control the spread of TB are not working and recommends that the Governments’ future policy include more frequent testing of cattle, deployment of vaccines when available and greater communication with farmers over the benefits of biosecurity.

The Committee recognise that culling alone can never be the solution to the problem but state that there would be a case for granting a license for a cull, in some “hot spot” areas, if it could be proved that the cull would be carried out competently, efficiently, cover a large area, be sustainable for four years and be carried out in areas with “hard” and “soft” boundaries.  They stress that these conditions were those agreed previously between Sir David King, former Government Chief Scientific Advisor, and the Independent Scientific Group commissioned to carry out research into this area. 
The Committee urge Defra to increase spending to eradicate bovine TB, “spending to save”. Central to this should be increased scientific research into the exact mechanisms of spread between badgers and cattle.