Monday, 30 June 2014

Badger cull claims flawed, vets say

Efficacy of indiscriminate killing of badgers to control TB in cattle not supported by scientific evidence, Friday 27 June 2014 17.00 BST

Government claims that badger culling is needed to tackle tuberculosis in cattle based on successes in other countries are "seriously flawed", a group of vets has said.

Ministers warn that no country in the world with TB in wildlife has eradicated the disease in cattle without controlling it in wild species, pointing to programmes in places such as New Zealand, Ireland and the US. 

But in a letter to the Veterinary Record, 19 vets raised concerns about the claims, saying that very few countries had needed to kill wildlife as part of TB control programmes. 

In New Zealand brush tail possums have been targeted to tackle TB, but the species is not a native breed, has caused significant problems for other wildlife and has very different habits and social structure to badgers, the vets said.

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