Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from the Secretary, Craven Badger Group (J8)

  Following an article in the Express in December last year on infected meat entering the food chain, our Chairman wrote to Rt Hon Tony Blair, MP regarding the problem of TB in cattle. This letter was responded to by Anthony Wright of MAFF setting out the answers to some of the questions and points that were raised, although not everything was addressed (copies attached).

  It seems that with another 12 months further on, the situation is no nearer to being resolved and the NFBG has evidence that badgers are now being killed in the most appalling conditions, causing great suffering to young cubs in particular. Is this what the Government wants to happen? A solution to the problem of TB in cattle and badgers would appear to be no nearer being found. We understand a cattle vaccine against TB has been developed in New Zealand, will this be trialled in the UK? The culling trials do not seem to have been carried out in a very scientific way, how can it be estimated how many badgers are in any one area when a preliminary count was not undertaken? Other species carry TB, why is it that this has not been addressed? There are too many questions unanswered.

  We hope that the next session of the Committee in November will agree that the culling trials are a waste of taxpayers' money, not to mention the decimation of the badger population in certain areas of the country. We await the outcome.

20 October 2000

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