Badger Consultants & Expert Witness Providers
I have absolutely NO PART to play in the NFU badger culls taking place. I do NOT support or believe in the mass culling of what will predominantly be non-infected animals. Those of you who know anything about the 7 year long Randomised Badger Culling Trials(RBCT) will know that 84% of all the badgers culled were found to be non-infected, hence my stance on this matter.
My stance has been to support the introduction and use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to target the disease in both badgers and cattle. I have had contact with the Minister on this topic and the future use of PCR technology looks promising. The Irish culls from 2016 onwards will be based on a sett side test to determine the presence of disease or not before deciding to cull or release - why can't the rest of the UK adopt this practice ?
Culling over 30,000 cows annually is totally unacceptable without targeting the disease in wildlife. PCR will facilitate this and our policy would be to cull infected cattle, identify and cull only infected badgers, vaccinate those that are found to be non--infected, micro chip them and release them back into the wild. As badgers have to be re-vaccinated each year for 5 years for the herd immunity effect to kick in, catching them each year will provide so much vital information on the efficacy of the vaccine. We will maintain our lobbying with the Minister and DEFRA to adopt this policy.
Badger vaccination cannot cure an already infected animal. A badger sow that is infected will also pass that infection onto her cubs. Clearly vaccination, once its efficacy is proven, will have a huge part to play in tackling the disease. Used in isolation it is doomed to failure and that is why PCR is so vital to help identify diseased animals before removing them from the countryside.
Identify the disease in both badgers and cattle, remove the infected, vaccinate the clean and bovine TB WILL be beaten.........DEFRA needs to take action on this matter .....NOW !!
NO TO MASS CULLING !!