The proposal is likely to be welcomed by

members of the farming community whose livelihoods are jeopardised by the

continual threat of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. DEFRA estimates that

approximately 25,000 cattle were slaughtered last year as a result of the

disease, which went on to cost the taxpayer in excess of £63 million in England

alone.

The scheme would only permit culling in

areas where the disease is most prevalent, still leaving many farmers with

vaccination as their only option against preventing the spread of disease. They

will be further dismayed to learn that all culling and vaccination programs are

expected to be independently funded.

Despite these short falls, the proposal has

been welcomed by both the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British

Cattle Association (BCVA) who have long argued that both livestock and wildlife

should be targeted if spread of the disease is to be prevented.