BADGERS – THE SCOTTISH PERSPECTIVE

In answer to an enquiry from QCA, Keith from Badger Trust explains:

The Scottish Farmers Union (unlike its English and Welsh counterparts) fully accept that cattle movement is a major issue in the transmission of bTB, and therefore have a much more stringent policy in place for any cattle movements, and in particular when buying / selling cattle.  This is backed up by the Scottish Government.

It is policy to keep any recently- purchased animals in a quarantine situation and then test before introducing them into the existing herd. Details can be found here :-

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/SpecificDisease/bTB/OTFStatus

We have fewer movements of cattle into Scotland from  England and Wales – circa 14,000 head of cattle in 2008, for instance, so therefore controls are easier to implement and fewer cattle need to be tested as would be seen in the movements within England, but it shows that bTB control can be achieved without culling badgers.

Indeed, the majority of Scottish cattle farmers have badgers on their lands and are tolerant and, in some cases, very protective of them.

 Badger Trust. www.badgertrust.org.uk

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