Lord Patten – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Patten on 2016-05-18.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the effect on bovine health in Exmoor of the National Trust’s advice to their tenant farmers not to participate in badger culls.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble

Alongside strengthening cattle testing and movement controls and improving biosecurity on farm and when trading, licensed badger control in areas where bovine TB is rife, like Exmoor, is an essential part of the Government’s 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease in England.

Badger control licence applications from groups of local farmers and landowners are assessed against criteria that include the area of accessible land. Provided that enough land is accessible to achieve an effective badger population reduction across the wider area, Natural England can issue a licence. Thus, even if some local landowners do not participate, long term disease reduction benefits can still be realised across the wider area.