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Bovine TB and badger culling

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Photograph of two cows grazing in a field.
Credit: Getty Images

In today’s Daily Mirror there was an article reporting that fourteen new areas in England have applied to Natural England for a badger control licence this year.

This was reported as thousands more badgers face being culled this autumn in an extension of badger culling.

However, this number of new applications received by Natural England does not equal the number of new areas that may be licenced.

This is because Natural England must assess applications fully as part of their statutory role in supporting the Government’s bTB eradication strategy through the issuing and administering of licences to cull and vaccinate badgers.

A Defra spokesperson said:

Bovine TB remains one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK, causing devastation for hard-working farmers and rural communities.

There is no single measure that will provide an easy answer to beating the disease. That is why we are pursuing a range of interventions to eradicate the disease by 2038, including tighter cattle movement controls, regular testing and vaccinations.

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