Trust acknowledges Minister's plans to eradicate bovine TB
Wednesday 4th July 2012
Badger (c) A Mason
The Ulster Wildlife Trust today (4 July 2012) acknowledged Michelle O’Neil's plans for a science-led approach to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Northern Ireland, and says that is pleased that a widespread cull of badgers, similar to England, is not being considered.
It follows the Agriculture Minister’s announcement yesterday of a research programme to tackle bTB, which includes a ‘test-vaccinate-remove strategy’ whereby diseased badgers are culled and healthy ones protected. This approach will be trialled alongside research into on-farm biosecurity and transmission from cattle to cattle, which accounts for the majority of bTB spread.
Jennifer Fulton, Chief Executive with the local nature conservation charity said:
“bTB is a complex and costly disease which can cause hardship to farming families. There is no doubt that it needs to be tackled, but there is no one fix-all solution to eradicate it from our countryside. It is our firm belief that a package of targeted measures to control bTB, not just wildlife intervention, is needed.
“As the badger is a protected, native species, we will be carefully scrutinising the research proposals and will continue to work with government to eradicate bTB, taking a science-based approach.”
The Ulster Wildlife Trust recently gave evidence to the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on badgers and bovine TB, and solutions to eradicating the disease. Members of the Committee also visited Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to learn from the experiences of their on-going badger vaccination programme.