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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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The Badger cull - untested and risky

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The government has granted licenses for two pilot cull areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset.  They have also identified a third cull area in Dorset.

Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn, has today said that the badger cull is untested and risky. 

Meg said:

“Ministers are pressing ahead with a badger cull despite scientists warning against this untested and risky approach.  There is a very real problem with the spread of TB in cattle; however it will not be solved by killing badgers, but by vaccinating them and cattle against the disease.  We need to increase efforts to develop more efficient vaccines and a science-led policy to manage cattle movements better.  I understand the frustration of the farming community affected by the devastating impacts of bovine TB; however I do not believe that a cull will help resolve the issue.”

During the debate last year Meg Munn MP urged the government to think again about the cull and has continued to raise concerns directly with government ministers.

Lord John Krebs, one of the UK’s most eminent scientists states that the cull policy is ‘mindless’.  He also states that the ‘scientific case is as clear as it can be: this cull is not the answer to TB in cattle.  The government is cherry-picking bits of data to support its case.’ 

Lord Krebs has called for developing an effective vaccine in the long term, and improving biosecurity and cattle management to prevent herds coming into contact with badgers and passing on the disease.

In 2007 the previous government decided not to licence farmers to cull badgers but to make vaccination a priority, and increased spending on vaccines.  Over the last 10 years, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has spent over 7 million on research into badger vaccines, and in March 2010 the first TB badger vaccine was authorised.  It had been planned to be deployed in six areas in England but these were reduced to one area in June 2010.

To read Meg’s contribution in the House of Commons debate visit:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121025/debtext/121025-0002.htm#12102527000838

 


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