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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Feb 2016 right left

01
02

TCV – Mournes Work Party and Training

Wednesday 3rd February
Contact Susan Lynn for more infromation
Contact Susan Lynn for more infromation

04
05

Snowdrop Walks (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Saturday 6th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

Snowdrop Walks at The Argory

Saturday 6th February
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

Winter Work Party: Conserving Cryptics at Craigavon Lakes

Saturday 6th February
Eastern end of balancing lakes, Craigavon Lakes, Craigavon
Free

Snowdrop Walks at Springhill Moneymore

Sunday 7th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

08
09
10
11
12
13

Nest Fest

Sunday 14th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

15
16
17

NI Science Festival 2016

Thursday 18th February
Various
Various

19

A Helping Hand for Wildlife

Saturday 20th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

Have a go at: Hedgelaying

Saturday 20th February
North Down
No Charge, Donations Welcome

21
22
23
24

Water Northern Ireland Conference

Thursday 25th February
See flyer for details
See flyer for details

26
27
28

Northern Ireland LIFE Information Day

Monday 29th February
Conference Suite, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), 2 Titanic Boulevard, Belfast
Free

     
 

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.