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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Sep 2014 right left

Stargazing Event

Monday 1st September
Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty
Free

Bushmills Village Walk

Tuesday 2nd September
Assembly Point: 6:00pm Park and Ride car park
Free

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Investing in Northern Ireland’s Heritage – IoF Introductory Certificate Course 2

Tuesday 9th September
Rural Community Network, 38a Oldtown Street, Cookstown, Tyrone
£10

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WeBS Methodology Training Day

Saturday 13th September
Castle Espie, Comber
Free

European Heritage Open Days

Saturday 13th September
Enniskillen Castle Museums
Free

European Heritage Open Days 2014

Saturday 13th September
Various Locations
Free

Habitat Management at Gilford Castle

Sunday 14th September
Gilford Castle – Gilford Village
Free

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NIEL Annual Conference 2014 – Fundraising for the Northern Ireland Heritage and Environment Sector

Wednesday 17th September
Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall St, Belfast, BT12 5AD
Free

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Grey Point Fort – Northern Ireland’s Maritime World War One Legacy

Friday 19th September
Waterman House, 5–33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Free

September 1914– the men of Belfast sign up for the First World War

Friday 19th September
Waterman House, 5–33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Free

West End Ramble, Kebble & Kinramer NNR, Rathlin Island

Saturday 20th September
Rathlin Island
Normal bus and ferry charges apply

Beachwatch at Killard Point

Sunday 21st September
Killard Point near Strangford
Free

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Sustainable Water: A Long Term Water Strategy for Northern Ireland

Thursday 25th September
Main Room (3rd Floor), Grosvenor House, Belfast, BT12 5AD
Free

Everyday Life in Extraordinary Times

Thursday 25th September
Fermanagh County Museum
Normal Admission Rates Apply

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Safari Live

Saturday 27th September
Crawfordsburn Country Park
Free

EUROPARC Conference 2014 – Understanding the value of nature

Sunday 28th September
The Malton, Town Centre, Killarney, Co. Kerry
See website for details

Apple Day at Peatlands Park

Sunday 28th September
Peatlands Park, Dungannon
Free

K T Frost and a Case Full of Loot

Monday 29th September
Elmwood Building, Queens University
Free

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Climate Northern Ireland NIAF
 

No plans for NI badger cull 5 August 2010

Written Answers 23 July 2010 Badger Cull to Prevent the Spread of Bovine TB


Mr J Shannon asked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development if she has had any discussions with her counterpart in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in relation to a badger cull to prevent the spread of bovine TB; and if these discussions have enabled the initiation of a cull Northern Ireland.
(AQW 7931/10)

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development: I note that the new Liberal-Conservative Coalition in Britain has announced that, as part of a package of measures, they will introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB. I have not had any discussions with my counterpart in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in relation to a badger cull. I understand that decisions on the shape of the Defra package of measures have not yet been taken and that the Coalition wishes to consider all the issues carefully, including the scientific evidence, and to work out the detail of the package to ensure they get it right. They will be looking at vaccine and culling options as part of that package. They will also watch how Wales embarks on their planned badger cull whilst they finalise their own plans. I shall be very interested to see exactly what it is they propose and how it is to be funded.

My Department has a rigorous TB programme in place, approved by the EU, which includes a strand to address the wildlife factor. The ultimate aim of our TB strategy is to eradicate TB in cattle in the north of Ireland.

Interventions to address the wildlife issue may include improving biosecurity, as well as options for more direct intervention such as the vaccination of badgers, which may be the most feasible solution in the long-term though I recognise it could be some time before an effective oral badger vaccine becomes available. We plan to carry out a TB Biosecurity Study this year to assess what critical differences there are between infected and non-infected herds in a TB high incidence area in County Down.

Consideration of both selected cattle and wildlife factors will be key elements of this Study which will help inform new biosecurity advice for farmers. We are also seeking to see how other AFBI research and development projects can best contribute to the fight against TB.

To date, research involving badger culling elsewhere presents a mixed picture of its cost benefit and effectiveness in reducing disease levels in cattle. It would appear that the cost exceeds the benefit by 2-3 times. There are no plans for any cull of badgers here. As the badger is a protected species, any direct interventions in the badger population would be subject to the agreement of the Environment Minister, and also to the availability of the substantial additional funding that would be needed.

My officials will continue to maintain contact with the work that is on-going in the south of Ireland and in England to develop a viable vaccine for badgers, which can be deployed in a cost effective way. We will also track the progress of the Welsh cull as well as the delivery of the Defra package of measures in England.

Action to deal with cattle to cattle transmission of TB will also continue to be an important element of our TB strategy as we move forward.