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Badgers (Bovine Tuberculosis)

Volume 517: debated on Thursday 4 November 2010

14. What recent representations she has received on the proposed cull of badgers to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis. (21657)

A public consultation is currently under way on a badger control policy to tackle bovine tuberculosis. As of yesterday evening, we have received 1,613 responses from a variety of individuals and organisations. I would encourage anyone with a view to respond to the consultation, which closes on 8 December. We will be making a decision on the Government’s approach early next year.

We have been consulting the Home Office and police forces in areas where we think culls might occur, and we will obviously take their advice forward. I do not want to prejudge the outcome of the consultation or, indeed, our consideration of it, but the hon. Lady puts her finger on a very important point, which has to be addressed in the overall approach that we adopt. I can assure her that we are talking with the relevant bodies and authorities.