We are deeply alarmed about the intentions of Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, following his recent announcement to launch a consultation on whether to remove a cap which limits new areas of the country where the killing of badgers is allowed as part of the Government’s strategy to deal with the crisis of bovine TB in cattle.
We feel this is the wrong type of consultation. This is because it assumes that badgers are the key cause of the spread of bovine TB and there is no scientific evidence to support this.
We argue that in the face of an increase in the number of cows infected with bovine TB this is a kneejerk reaction which makes no sense scientifically. We argue that what is needed instead is an approach where sustainable long term solutions to this problem are developed. For example expanding the vaccination of badgers in what are deemed ‘Edge’ and ‘Low Risk’ areas for bovine TB across the country makes clear sense. This will help establish healthy populations of badgers.