National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

Press Release: House of Commons TB Debate, Points for MP

4th June 2013

Region: National

“38,000 cattle lost per year, £100 million in costs per year, a major loss of food production and the destruction of many family businesses is the present and growing cost of TB to the UK” says Chris Mallon, National Director of the NBA.

The NBA along with the NFU, BVA and other organisations support the policy of controlling the spread of TB by controlling the badger population. It is essential that the present culls go ahead and that Parliament does not prevent what is a necessity in the control of this notifiable highly infectious disease. If we do not act now it will soon be too late and TB will become endemic within our cattle and wildlife populations with heightened risk of transfer to companion animal.

“For the last 20 years cattle movement controls have failed on their own to halt the onward spread of TB throughout the country, and it has been shown in Ireland, New Zealand and many other countries that without an effective wildlife control policy TB cannot be controlled. The decision to control the badger population is key to the control of TB within the cattle and wildlife populations” continued Mr Mallon.

An effective vaccination for cattle is at least ten years away, the present vaccination system for wildlife is inefficient, far too costly and does nothing to deal with the problem of those badgers already infected with TB and spreading the disease.

All of the above should be taken into careful consideration by the Members of Parliament before voting in the Opposition Day Debate on the 5th of June.

“The present pilots will assess the humaneness of controlling the badger population in this way. These pilots have not been entered into without great thought and consideration of the available evidence, the decision to cull is not anti-badger but
anti-TB” added Mr Mallon.