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Badgers get reprieve from TB cull

03 March 2005 - www.ft.com

By Fiona Harvey

Badgers gained a reprieve when the government held off on a decision on whether to allow the creatures to be culled to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Farmers have been calling for a cull because badgers are blamed for spreading the disease to cattle, backed up by an Irish study, which appeared to support the effectiveness of culling. But the government yesterday issued fresh guidelines on controlling bovine TB, which called for more research into whether a cull would work. Killing badgers is controversial as they are a protected species.

Mark Hudson, president of the Country Land and Business Association, said: "Fortunately the [government] hasn't discounted culling but when are we going to be able to implement culling as a control measure to break the cycle of this disease? If we are ever to control TB in this country then we have to control it in wildlife too."

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