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
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.