BADGER CULL CONTINUES FOR ITS SECOND YEAR TO PREVENT TB
In Somerset and Gloucestershire, the second year cull is under way with a new target—badger cubs. Badgers are being killed to stop the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) in cattle because last year more than 26,000 cattle were slaughtered in England. The government insists culling is the right thing to do but have announced a scheme to vaccinate badgers next to the two cull areas. Many people (local residents and charities) do not agree with the cull and say it’s not needed. ‘The vast majority of the badgers being culled are, in fact, healthy and uninfected, and in many cases have natural immunity’ say the charity, Badger Trust. ‘ Culling badgers could result in other potentially infected badgers moving into the area to take over the territories, thus potentially spreading the disease.’ Badger Trust also say to get involved, people can ’Join in any anti-culling lawful protests and meetings’. ’It should be common sense to stop the culling now’ say Badger Trust. On the other hand, farmers want to see the badger cull rolled out to other parts of the country as they are worried about their cattle. The reason badger cubs are being targeted next is because in early summer, the cubs will be out of their dens and easier to catch and shoot so it is more likely the cull will hit it’s target. However, scientists think killing the cubs will have less effect then killing the adults. Recently according to computer modelling, increased cattle testing would be more effective in stopping bovine TB than shooting badgers. This suggests that frequent testing could save more cattle but also help us to understand why testing is more effective.
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