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Bovine Tuberculosis: South West

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 135, tabled on 27 May 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of badgers exterminated through culling in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) Somerset were found to carry bovine tuberculosis in all instances in which tests were carried out in the last five years.

Answered on

5 June 2015

Badgers culled under licence in Somerset and Gloucestershire in 2013 and 2014 were not routinely tested for tuberculosis (TB), since this research had already been carried out under the Random Badger Cull Trial (RBCT).

However, testing of badgers between 1998 and 2005 via the Randomised Badger Culling Trial and Road Traffic Accident surveys provided evidence of the typical prevalence of TB in badgers in areas of high incidence of TB in cattle. TB was found in around one third of all badgers in these areas.

During the culls, four badger carcasses were tested on occasion at the specific request of landowners. The tests were carried out by independent veterinary surgeons. Of the four carcasses, one carcass was confirmed to be infected with Bovine TB.