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DEFRA to consult on English badger cull

6 September 2010

DEFRA is to consult within the few weeks on a badger cull in those areas of England suffering the most from bovine TB.

The Welsh Assembly’s plans for a badger cull in part of Pembrokeshire were blocked in July this year, when they were successfully challenged by the Badger Trust in the Court of Appeal (see, 14 July 2010).

The Assembly conceded that its TB eradication order should not have applied to the whole of the Wales, but only the cull area in north Pembrokeshire and a small part of Ceredigion.

Lord Justice Pill, who gave the leading judgment at the Court of Appeal, said he would have dismissed the appeal if the order had been restricted to the cull area.

Two of three appeal judges ruled that the cull would not “substantially reduce” the incidence of TB, if carried out throughout Wales.

A spokesman for DEFRA said a consultation would be launched within the next few weeks on “some of the measures” needed to control bovine TB, including a cull. Following this, he said that a “full package of measures” would be announced in the New Year.

It has been reported that compensation payments to farmers whose cattle were slaughtered to control the spread of the disease cost the taxpayer £90m last year.

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