BOVINE TB is a terrible disease endemic to cattle in the UK.
Around 25,000 cattle were slaughtered for TB control in England in 2010 with a total cost to the taxpayer of £87m in testing and compensation.
The Government is right to take action to try and stop the spread of this terrible disease but their policy of ‘free shooting’ is not supported by science and may increase the problem of spreading TB.
ŠI continue to support a science-led approach to dealing with bovine TB which shows that vaccination offers the best hope of effectively tackling BTB in the long term.
Last year the Government halted five of the six vaccine pilots that were commissioned by Labour when we were in Government. The Tory-led Government is now pursuing a policy of badger culling which effectively involves trapping and shooting badgers.
No new evidence has come forward to contradict the views of the Independent Science Group (ISG) on Bovine TB that a badger cull would not meaningfully contribute to the eradication of Bovine TB.
I think the Government has rushed into this decision and has underestimated the impact that public opinion and protests could have on any cull.
I will be asking the Government to think again on this issue and take into account the evidence.