'Back off badgers', urges RSPCA
02 Feb 2006 - BBC News
welfare charity the RSPCA is launching an advertising campaign aimed
at preventing a large-scale cull of badgers in England.
Farmers have been pressing for a cull because they blame the
animals for spreading TB among cows.
But the RSPCA believes cattle movements are to blame for
spreading the disease.
A public consultation on the issue ends on 10 March and the
government will decide later this year whether a cull is necessary. "The RSPCA believes that badgers are being made the scapegoats
for a rise in bovine TB in cattle," said Colin Booty, RSPCA senior
The RSPCA said current methods of testing may be missing about a
third of infected cattle.
Recent government research suggested infected cattle were the
prime source of infection for other cows, it added.
"Because of the current inadequacies of testing, there are far
too many undiagnosed cattle moving about the country," the charity
The RSPCA is calling for more - and better quality - testing of
cattle both before and after they are moved, and strict quarantining
of new animals.
Its advertisements urge people replying to the consultation to
tell ministers to "back off badgers".
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