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Badger Culls

Volume 612: debated on Thursday 7 July 2016

During 2015, badger control operations in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset were all successful in meeting their targets. According to the Chief Veterinary Officer’s advice, the results show that industry-led badger control can deliver the level of effectiveness that will enable us to be confident of achieving disease control benefits.

Badger culling in England costs about £7,000 per badger killed. In Wales, the badger vaccination programme costs about £700 per badger vaccinated. Lord Krebs, who is a renowned expert on the subject, has continually said that

“rolling out culling as a national policy to control TB in cattle is not really credible.”

Does the Minister accept that?

TB is costing the country £100 million a year, and that is why we have to act. The veterinary advice is clear—we cannot have a coherent strategy to eradicate TB without also tackling the disease in the wildlife population. Following advice from the World Health Organisation, the vaccination operations in Wales, as in England, have been suspended because there is a lack of vaccine.