Bovine TB: consultation on proposals to introduce licensed badger control to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis in the Low Risk Area (England)

Closed 15 Apr 2018

Opened 16 Feb 2018


This consultation is part of the Government’s Strategy for achieving Officially Bovine Tuberculosis Free (OTF) status for England, published in April 2014.

We are consulting on a proposal to extend the Strategy to include badger control in the Low Risk Area of England (LRA) in the rare event that disease is present in badgers and is linked with infection in cattle herds. We set out options for badger control, which includes culling, in these circumstances, in order to re-establish a disease-free badger population in the LRA. We invite views on the principle of introducing this type of badger control, and any other options which could be considered, and on the proposed revisions to the Guidance to Natural England on licensed badger control (see Annex B of the consultation document for the draft revised Guidance).

This consultation opened on 16 February 2018 and will close on 15 April 2018.

Please note: we are holding a separate consultation on the number of licensed badger control areas, running concurrently. You can find this consultation here:


Why your views matter

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. Its aims include using all available tools to rapidly find and eliminate TB in cattle wherever it occurs, and reduce and eliminate the spread of TB from wildlife, including badgers. There is a case that badger control measures should also be made available in TB low risk areas where disease is identified in the badger population to stop the disease spreading further.

It is vital that we are able to deal swiftly and decisively with any incursion of TB in the LRA which involves both cattle and badgers to make sure that the special status of this area is protected, to support the sustainability of local farm businesses and to disrupt the disease transmission within the badger population. We are consulting on a rational disease control extension of the Strategy which will ensure that timely and effective action can be taken in response to these situations.

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

What happens next

This consultation closed on 15 April 2018. 

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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