MP helps stop badger cull roll-out

David Morris, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP.
David Morris, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris helped broked an agreement that the badger cull will not be rolled out nationally.

The government has said it will not expand badger culling to other areas this year to reduce TB in cattle.

The environment department’s original plan was to announce up to 10 new cull areas each year.

Defra’s own independent assessment shows that culls in two pilot areas in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset were not effective, and raised questions about their humaneness.

These pilot culls will continue, though there will be no independent oversight to assess their future performance.

In a Commons statement, the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson proposed a programme of vaccination around the edges of the most badly affected parts of the country.

This, he said, would create a buffer zone of immunity that would stop the disease from spreading.

Mr Morris, chairman of the Bovine TB All Party Paliamentary Group, said: “I held a debate last year in Parliament which called for an end to the cull and for the Government to look at different ways of eradicating Bovine TB.

“I am pleased that Defra has listened and more effective and humane methods can be looked at.

“I believe the countryside traditions and way of life should be preserved, but, the indiscriminate killing of wildlife where the science does not stack up is madness.

“It is obvious that Defra accept that the spread of Bovine TB is not exclusively due to badgers and I am pleased that the Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State are in agreement making it a truly cross party agreement.

“Thank you to the Lune Valley farmers who attend my farmers forum for their guidance and advice.”

Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said: “It is hugely important that any cattle controls go hand in hand with measures to tackle the disease in badgers. And culling must play a part in that where TB is rife.”