Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Britain considering putting badgers on pill to wipe out TB

British authorities are planning to put badgers on the pill
British authorities are planning to put badgers on the pill
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Our neighbours across the duck pond are considering putting their badgers on the pill.

With farmers struggling in parts of Britain to contain TB outbreaks, there have been growing calls for action to remove carriers of the disease in the wild such as badgers.

The British authorities are planning to take out 5,000 badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset this summer and up to 100,000 are to be culled over the next 25 years as Britain pushes to be TB free.

However, the British department of agriculture has also commissioned studies on the use of oral contraceptives on badgers, as well as funding studies into the viability of employing injectible contraceptives.


David Heath, the British Environment Minister, has blamed growing badger numbers for the spread of TB in cattle herds.

Mr Heath said the "overpopulation" of badgers would have to be addressed if Britain was to be TB free in 25 years.

A prolonged cull of badgers is certain to draw the wrath of Britain's powerful environmental lobby. So taking a 'family planning' approach to the problem by putting the nocturnal foragers on the tried and trusted 'smartie' might just be the more palatable option.

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