Extending a flawed approach to managing Bovine TB must not go ahead. Biosecurity and cattle vaccination must be the focus of future public investment in Bovine TB eradication. The Government recently consulted on a proposal to extend the badger cull in to areas such as Sheffield and Rotherham.
This consultation is an extension to the Government’s Strategy for achieving Officially Bovine Tuberculosis Free (OTF) status for England, originally published in April 2014. In that strategy, South Yorkshire is identified as a Low Risk Area because there are relatively few cases of Bovine TB occurring in cattle here. As a result, the Strategy clearly stated that the focus in these areas should be on good farm biosecurity.
The Government consulted on changing this approach, to include badger culling as an option in all Low Risk Areas across England. This would effectively mean badger culling is permitted by license from Natural England across the whole country, potentially leading to a near eradication of this native, protected species.