AS the Government launches two pilot badger culls in Somerset and  Gloucestershire, West Cornwall MP Andrew George announced good progress in the  project to vaccinate badgers against Bovine TB across west Cornwall. Mr George confirmed that the Zoological Society of London will oversee the  programme, which will run for at least six years and extend to the whole of the  Penwith  peninsula.


The Government has granted funds to the project to commence a small trial  vaccination project in Penwith.  This could commence later this year.

Mr George said:  “The Government’s pilot cull runs the very high risk of  making the situation worse.  In any case, it is highly unlikely that the Penwith  area would ever succeed in securing government support for a cull, even if it  were proven to be a success, because when the government-backed badger cull  trial was undertaken in the Penwith area a decade ago, non-co-operation and  disruption resulted in less than 50 per cent of the area being accessible for  culling.


“Bovine TB has had, and is continuing to have, a devastating effect on many  livestock farms here in west Cornwall. “It is absolutely essential that we make every effort to get on top of this  disease.  But the project cannot succeed without the support of volunteers  (otherwise it becomes prohibitively expensive) or local farmers and landowners.   The response so far has been encouraging but there’s still much more to do. “However, things are coming together well and with the support of the  National Trust, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Zoological Society of London  I am confident this project could have a real and beneficial impact on beef and  dairy farms in the area.”


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