Measures to slow bovine TB are ‘not enough’

File photo dated 28/07/08 of a badger, as the Badger Trust is asking the High Court to stop a planned cull of badgers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 25, 2012. The wildlife charity is seeking judicial review of the Government's decision to allow the cull to go ahead to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. See PA story COURTS Badgers. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/07/08 of a badger, as the Badger Trust is asking the High Court to stop a planned cull of badgers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 25, 2012. The wildlife charity is seeking judicial review of the Government's decision to allow the cull to go ahead to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. See PA story COURTS Badgers. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

New measures to try and slow down the spread of bovine TB have been criticised by Derbyshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Anne Western, for not doing enough to protect local farmers.

The Government set out plans this week to increase TB testing and control cattle movement in 10 areas across the country, including Derbyshire. And farms in Derbyshire and Cheshire within 3 km of a new TB outbreak will have to test their cows for bovine TB immediately and again after six months.

A £250,000 fund for farmers to help cover half of the costs of vaccinating badgers on their land has also been set up.

Derbyshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Anne Western, said: “While I welcome the new measures set out this week by the Government I do not think they go far enough.

“I welcome the money set aside to help those farmers who want to vaccinate badgers on their land, but my view is that it is not enough. We want to see a nationwide badger vaccination programme, supported, co-ordinated and fully funded by the Government.

In July the county council decided to oppose badger culling on its land and agreed to support the principle of badger vaccination as a practical measure to reduce the

spread of bovine TB, and allow vaccination of badgers on county council land.

Councillor Western added: “We’re a rural county and we know the suffering and financial hardship that bovine TB causes to farmers and theirfamilies.

“That’s why we’re pro-vaccination – to protect farmers and their cattle without the need for badger culling which may have little or no impact on stopping the spread of bovine TB and could even make the situation worse.”