Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is committed to two pilot schemes for a science-led and strictly controlled cull of badgers.

The trials form a key part of its Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Eradication Programme for England.

The incidence rate of TB in cattle has been rising for two and a half decades, costing the taxpayer an estimated £90 million last year. In 2010 nearly 25,000 animals were slaughtered after testing positive.

 Bill commented, “I welcome this robust, balanced and progressive package of measures. However, it is a pity that the pilot schemes are not in Herefordshire.

 As a breeder of Hereford cattle, Bovine TB is one of the biggest biological hazards we face. It inflicts a staggering toll on the farming community, both financially and emotionally.

 I have long supported a humane approach to the management of infected wildlife. Allowing badgers creatures to die in agony, with legions erupting in the bladder before slowly spreading to other organs, is neither right nor rational.

 This terrible disease must be stopped and the suffering ended.”

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