Skip to main content

Badgers

Volume 940: debated on Wednesday 30 November 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of badgers slaughtered in Gloucestershire has been infected with bovine tuberculosis.

It is not possible to give the information requested because badgers destroyed in their sets by gassing are not recovered. Examination of 1,127 carcases of badgers from Gloucestershire which have died from other causes has revealed that 215–19 per cent.—were infected with bovine tuberculosis.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what new evidence there is to suggest that badgers are definitely the cause and carriers of bovine tuberculosis.

Badgers infected with bovine tuberculosis are continuing to be found in areas where outbreaks of the disease have occurred in cattle. In one area, where there has been a particularly serious disease history in a herd, and where gassing of badger sets began in August 1975, the herd has been regularly tested, but no cattle infected with the disease have been discovered since January 1976.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what authority Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food officials enter land and slaughter badgers.

Section 10(2) of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 empowers authorised officers to enter land included in an area declared by an order under Section 9(2) of the Act and to destroy badgers on that land. Entry to land not included in such an area is made only with the voluntary agreement of the occupiers, and in such cases destruction of badgers is carried out by virtue of licences issued under Section 9(1)(d) of the Badgers Act 1973 as amended by Section 16 of the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act 1975.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest estimate of badgers slaughtered in Gloucestershire (a) in the last six months and (b) in total since badger slaughtering began.

It is not possible to say how many badgers have been killed. In the six months ending 31st October, 241 sets in Gloucestershire have been gassed, making a total of 1,040 since gassing operations began.