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Consultation: Bovine Tuberculosis: the Government’s approach to tackling the disease and consultation on a badger control policy

Ref: 35/10

Issued: 2010-09-15
Consultation start: 2010-09-15
Consultation end: 2010-12-08

Summary

The Coalition Government has committed, as part of a package of measures, to develop affordable options for a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB in cattle. Defra invited your views on the Government’s planned approach to tackling bovine TB in badgers through this consultation.

The incidence rate of bovine TB in cattle has been rising for 25 years with the cost to Government of controlling bovine TB in England at over £63 million in 2009/10 (excludes research and development). These costs are rising year by year so there is a strong case for early effective action to turn this around. Eradicating bovine TB is our long term goal, but additional measures are needed urgently to stop the disease spreading and to start to reverse the rising trend. The farming industry and Government need to work in partnership to achieve this.

There is no single solution to tackling bovine TB – we need to use every tool in the toolbox. Scientific evidence indicates that in areas with high incidence of bovine TB in cattle, it will not be possible to eliminate the disease in cattle without addressing the disease in badgers. No other country in the world has successfully tackled bovine TB in cattle without addressing the wildlife reservoir. The overall aim is to put measures in place to control the disease in badgers for areas with a high incidence of bovine TB in cattle.

This consultation was expected to be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders: farmers and farming industry, landowners, veterinary industry, wildlife groups, members of the public; non-Government organisations and rural groups.

Responses to the consultation

This consultation has now closed. We are grateful for the comments received. A summary of the responses we received has now been published (below).

The Government’s Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England, setting out a comprehensive and balanced package of measures to tackle bovine TB, was published on 19 July 2011.

Consultation documents

Related information

Page last modified: 2011-07-19
Page published: 2010-09-15

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