Bovine TB: consultation on proposals to manage the delivery of both badger vaccination and culling in Edge counties.

Closed 26 Jun 2020

Opened 15 May 2020


Badger control, both vaccination and culling, is licensed to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). We are consulting on a proposal to manage the delivery of both vaccination and culling of badgers in the Edge Area of England especially where they adjoin. Our proposal aims to reduce the risk of culling vaccinated badgers balanced with ensuring that culling can proceed where applications meet the licensing requirements to ensure that progreass is made towards disease eradication. This consultation is part of the Government's repose to the Godray Review, published in March 2020.

We invite views on our proposed approach to address this situation and any other options which could be considered, and on the proposed revisions to the Guidance to Natural England on licensed badger control.



Why your views matter

The Government’s Strategy for achieving Officially Bovine Tuberculosis Free (OTF) status for England, published in April 2014 aims to eradicate TB whilst maintaining an economically sustainable livestock industry. This complements Defra’s strategic objectives of supporting and developing British farming and encouraging sustainable food production, enhancing the environment and biodiversity, managing the risk of animal disease, and the Government’s overarching objective of supporting economic growth. In developing new disease control interventions, we need to find the right balance between managing disease risks and managing impacts on businesses.

The TB Strategy is an adaptive, evidence-based, long-term approach to disease control, including badger control in areas where the disease is widespread in cattle and in badgers to complement other measures. In its response to the Godfray Review, the Government has set out its ambition to move from widespread badger culling to wider deployment of vaccination, with culling only taking place where the epidemiological evidence supports it. This will necessitate badger culling taking place alongside badger vaccination. Recognising that this could impede deployment of vaccination, the Government wants to manage this situation, whilst not making it impossible for farmers to come together and undertake licensed badger culls. 

Please read the consultation document before responding to the questions. You can find the document at the bottom of this page.

What happens next

Every response will be read and considered by the policy team in Defra in taking forward our work. We intend to publish a summary of responses to this consultation in due coourse. It will not be practical to describe every response in detail. 



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