Badger cull: the arguments for

Andrew Critchlow, NFU Derbyshire County Adviser
Andrew Critchlow, NFU Derbyshire County Adviser

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU), is in support of the cull in a bid to reduce the suffering of farmers affected by bTB.

Andrew Critchlow, NFU Derbyshire County Adviser, who has a farm in Edale, said 800 cattle were killed in Derbyshire alone last year as a result of the illness, compared to just over 600 in 2008.

“There are nearly 300 herds under restriction at any one time within the county,” he said.

“The impact is huge on these farms because the whole herds have to be slaughtered.

“It takes generations to build up a herd.”

Andrew added he felt a cull had to be part of the overall strategy to tackle the issue at the moment, but that the NFU doesn’t rule out the possibility of a badger vaccination as well.

He pointed out that vaccination trials are currently being undertaken in Wales, however the vaccination doesn’t affect badgers already infected with the disease and costs £662 per badger at the moment.

Andrew said in recent years farmers have had much greater restraints on cattle movements to improve the health of cattle.