Badger Trust welcomes bovine TB policy review which finds farming industry largely responsible

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Badger Trust welcomes bovine TB policy review which finds farming industry largely responsible for spread of disease

The Badger Trust has welcomed the publication of a Government sponsored review of its bovine TB policy by Professor Sir Charles Godfray.

The long awaited report concludes that it is wrong to over emphasise the role of badgers in the spread of bovine TB to cattle. Also that the farming industry is directly responsible for a significant amount of the spread of the disease in its cattle herds. 

To date around 35,000 badgers have been killed under Government cull licences at an estimated public cost of over £50 million and this figure could rise to 75,000 badgers in 30 cull zones by the end of 2018.

Although Professor Godfray concludes in his report that culling badgers can have a 'modest impact' on lowering bovine TB in cattle, his review gives a major emphasis to the current limitations in the regime. He highlights cattle testing, poor biosecurity measures at the farm gate level and the lack of trading and movement restrictions, which may lead to increased levels of TB infection in or between cattle herds.

The Review also states that 'moving to a non lethal control of the disease in badgers is highly desirable' and calls on the Government to undertake more research on the relative effectiveness of badger vaccination compared to culling.

Responding to the publication of the TB Policy Review Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust said 

"A combination of incompetence, negligence and deceit at the heart of the Government and the farming industry has resulted in a bovine TB policy which is failing farmers, tax payers and our wildlife. 

After 5 years of indiscriminate, cruel and ineffective badger culling, we welcome Sir Charles's TB Policy Review which finally recognises what we have been arguing from the beginning; the urgent need for the G