Link Manager: Ellie Ward, Policy Officer
The Government’s response to the Godfray review of its bovine TB strategy contained positive commitments to increase the focus on cattle and badger vaccination and enhance cattle testing and biosecurity in the next phase of the strategy. We welcomed these signals that culling will not go on indefinitely and were encouraged that much of the government’s response reflects the recommendations made by Link in 2019.
However, many more badgers will be culled before vaccination is a viable alternative and we are dissatisfied with the government’s indication that culling will always be an option when ‘epidemiological evidence suggests that badgers are involved’. This epidemiological evidence amounts to vague veterinary opinion and is not sound enough evidence on which to base such significant decisions as culling of a protected species.
In March 2021, the Group responded to the 'Bovine tuberculosis - consultation on proposals to help eradicate the disease in England'. We set out our opposition to the badger cull policy, highlighting that the huge costs of the policy, in terms of animal welfare, biodiversity and finance, have not been matched by evidence of its efficacy in controlling disease. The Group also responded to the Bovine tuberculosis call for views on 'possible future measures to accelerate disease eradication in England', in April 2021.
Link's response to Government's May 2021 announcement of the next phase of the bovine TB strategy can be found here.
For further information, contact Ellie Ward, Link’s Policy Officer.
Last Updated: 7 September 2023
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