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Minister signals Devon and Cornwall badger TB cull

20 May 2010 - BBC News

A cull of badgers is to be introduced in Devon and Cornwall to combat bovine TB in cattle, Farming Minister Jim Paice promised at the Devon County Show. The government says it is examining how best to roll out the policy, with a pilot vaccination scheme due to start across England this month. Badgers are blamed by many farmers for spreading TB, which affects cattle. The South West, west of England and Wales have been worst affected.

Paice said: "We are working on how we pull the science together and how we make sure that it is properly co-ordinated. We've got to find the right locations to identify the hot spot areas. We've got to work out who is going to do the culling and how it's going to be co-ordinated."

Jack Reedy, of the Badger Trust, said he did not think a cull would go ahead. "If they were going to be led by the most reputable science they wouldn't even be thinking about it," he said. Mr Reedy said trials had shown "any benefit would be very short term" and would "evaporate 18 months after the culling programme".

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