WTSWW agrees with the UK Governments Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee Report on Badgers and Cattle TB (2008) that the following measures must be rigorously enforced to control bTB:
- More frequent cattle testing, with more frequent and targeted combined use of the tuberculin skin test and the gamma interferon test
- The evaluation of post-movement cattle testing
- Greater communication with farmers on the benefits of bio-security measures
- The deployment of badger and cattle vaccines, when they become available
- Continued work on the epidemiology of the disease.
WTSWW fully supports the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in its undertaking to deliver the above in its TB Eradication Programme.
However, WTSWW wholly rejects the WAG proposal to cull badgers. The proposed Intensive Action Area (IAA) has highly permeable boundaries, with fragmented land ownership, which the ISG study showed to reduce the effectiveness of the culling. The reduction in breakdowns of cattle herds with TB is expected to be small, but the proposed cull will be very costly. The cull therefore is not a cost effective solution as a control measure for combating bovine tuberculosis.
We do believe however that vaccination is a key tool in the eradication of bovine TB. We are very disappointed that despite an increasing evidence base, the Minister is not proposing the use of vaccination.
What WTSWW are doing
- Responding to the WAG consultation, reporting that we wholly reject their proposal to cull badgers
- Continuing to work closely with WAG, to support the development viable alternatives to culling, such as vaccination.
- Working with Wildlife Trust colleagues across the UK to maintain our position at the forefront of this issue and sharing information on best practice
- Responding proactively to related articles in national and local press
- Updating members and interested parties on a regular basis through our website, magazines and newsletters
- Working with the media to promote our anti-cull message beyond the Wildlife Trust movement
- Producing car stickers displaying the 'no cull' position
- Raising awareness of badgers through events and publicity
- WTSWW consultation response
- Wildlife Trusts Wales consultation response to the 2009 Order
- Royal Society Wildlife Trusts position statement June 2009
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