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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on animal health in counties in England on the border with Wales should the Welsh Assembly Government decide to pursue a strategy of culling to reduce the level of bovine tuberculosis. (268698)

The announcement by the Welsh Minister on 24 March of an Intensive Action Pilot Area involving badger culling has no immediate implications for England; however, we will follow its implementation with interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider the merits of culling badgers in England to reduce levels of bovine tuberculosis in the English herd; and if he will make a statement. (270012)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has considered the wide range of evidence surrounding the role badger culling could play in the control of bovine TB and he announced the Government's policy on 7 July 2008, Official Report, columns 1153-1158.

The policy is that no licences will be issued for culling badgers for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, although the Government remain open to the possibility of revisiting this policy under exceptional circumstances, or if new scientific evidence were to become available.