We have made it clear that these culls alone will not solve the problem of TB in cattle. There is no single solution and they represent part of a comprehensive plan that the government is taking to arrest the increase in new bovine TB cases. Coupled with tighter cattle movement controls, improvements in testing, good biosecurity, and continued investment in vaccination, culling will have a significant impact.
Science tells us that badger culling can play a significant positive role in reducing the spread of TB. The decision by ministers was taken based on the best available scientific evidence after over 15 years of intensive research. This week the Irish Department of Agriculture reported that bovine TB in cattle had fallen to “historically low levels” after almost 25 years of culling badgers. Culling has contributed towards the 50% reduction in TB incidence in Ireland since 2000.