Wildlife and Countryside Link welcomes much of the Government’s response today to the Godfray review of its bovine TB strategy, and Defra’s announcement of an increased focus on cattle and badger vaccination and enhanced cattle testing and biosecurity.
Zoe Davies, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: "The Government’s updated plans to tackle bovine TB are a positive response to the concerns highlighted by Professor Sir Charles Godfray and conservation and welfare groups alike. There is a lot to like in these proposals. A much-needed switch to vaccination and phasing out culling should help tackle the disease more effectively and avoid thousands of badger deaths. Improved testing should reduce the main spread of the disease from cow to cow. But the government must ensure these moves are implemented quickly, rather than wait an indeterminate period for ‘the weight of disease in wildlife’ to fall. The main criticism of the Godfray review was that the Government has focussed too much on wildlife in its bovine TB approach, so today’s welcome words must be followed by a rapid shift in approach if this disease is to be eradicated."