Despite a recent report from the UK questioning the link between badgers and TB rates a country wide cull of badgers took place in England this Autumn.
10 culls took place across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Somerset.
A total of 10,866 badgers were killed between August and October according to data from the UK government and reported on in the Guardian newspaper.
Over 28,000 cattle were put down in the UK in 2015 due to TB but now lead scientists are questioning the link between the two animals. Indeed a decade long study in the UK has found that badger culling had made no meaningful contribution to curbing TB in cattle. Scientists and politicians in the UK are now calling for badgers to be left alone and to treat TB at its root in cows.
Meanwhile groups in Northern Ireland are calling for a badger cull of their own with a plan to eradicate TB in Northern Ireland within 40 years.
A report published by the TB Strategic Partnership Group (TBSPG) has called for a culling zone around 100 sq km. Culling of infected badgers will occur while vaccinations of non infected badgers will occur.
The report also recommended that compensation be paid to farmers with TB reactor animals and will be capped at £1,500.
Farmers groups and politicians in Nothern Ireland are still assessing the reports points and have yet to make a full decesion.
Padraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust said;
'We think the badger cull is a total waste of time, hundreds of thousands of bagers have been killed in Ireland and TB is still an issue here, we recognise that TB is a big problem for farmers but the enoromous culling of bagers has been useless in our view.'
'In Northern Ireland they have been doing TVR (Test vacinate release) and were trapping and releasing non infected badgers and only putting down infected bagers. But the results from this study are not fully known from northern Ireland yet, so its very premature to be looking at bringing in a cull.'
Padraig pointed out the vaccination trial in ireland has been going on for decades 'They started taking about it in 1991 but we have no results from these trials, we have no data and no reports that we can independently assess it suits the powers that be to keep things this way.'
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