Bovine TB: Consultation on proposals to evolve badger control policy and introduce additional cattle measures

Closed 13 May 2024

Opened 14 Mar 2024


This consultation is part of the government’s bTB Strategy. Achieving OTF status will provide tangible benefits for the cattle industry, rural communities and government. These include significant savings in combating the disease both to government and to industry, increasing the ability to trade[1] internationally and alleviating the social and mental health impacts of the disease on farmers and their businesses.

We recognise the importance of providing clarity to all parties on the future of badger control. This consultation seeks views on proposals to introduce what is termed a “targeted badger intervention” policy, through an approach that builds on the adaptive strategy taken in response to bTB outbreaks in the Low-Risk Area of England, as well as the success of farmer-led and centrally co-ordinated intensive culling.

Additionally, we are proposing changes to support responsible cattle movements. The consultation purposefully brings together cattle and wildlife measures as part of our holistic strategy.

One underlying priority is the need to make sure the strategy continues to be informed by science and deploys all tools at its disposal. Alongside the move to a targeted badger intervention policy, we will be taking steps to reduce the administrative burden for farmers wherever possible, for example by making taking part in culling and vaccination less labour intensive. One important aspect of this covered in this consultation is our proposal for Defra to issue targeted badger intervention licences and the associated licensing conditions. Annex A also provides details of a range of steps we have already taken to improve farmer experience of engagement in bTB measures and to reduce administrative and other burdens.

Bovine TB policy is devolved. This consultation applies to England only

[1] The World Organisation for Animal Health’s (WOAH) Terrestrial Animal Health Code lays down animal health standards for international trade. These include requirements for qualifying for official freedom from TB. Terrestrial Code Online Access - WOAH - World Organisation for Animal Health




  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Vets
  • Operators of animal gatherings
  • Livestock show ground operators
  • Veterinarians
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Farmers


  • Animals
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Cattle
  • Animal diseases
  • Livestock disease control