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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to introduce a badger cull in those areas in Devon most affected by Bovine TB. (182076)

The question of whether badger culling has a role to play in controlling bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle is complex.

We are currently considering this complex issue, taking into account all the available scientific evidence, including the final report of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) and the assessment of the scientific evidence made by the Government’s former chief scientific adviser, Sir David King. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already met with former members of the ISG including Professor John Bourne; and separately with Sir David King. We also wish to take into account the views from the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee following its inquiry into badgers and bovine TB.

While we are keen to make progress on reaching a decision, there is no specific timetable for doing so.