Paisley Argues Case in Badger Cull Debate

October 21, 2013

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley this week debated the issue of the ongoing badger culling, arguing that the spread of TB to cattle through infected badgers was “a serious risk to rural livelihoods.”

In arguing against the notion that there is a vaccine available for cattle Mr Paisley stressed the point that there is no way of distinguishing whether a cow’s test, should it come back positive, is because it has picked up the disease or due to it having had its BCG vaccination.  “Every cow that tests positive has to be slaughtered despite there being no evidence as to whether the animal has TB or not.”

The MP also highlighted the financial implications of vaccinations during the Westminster debate. ‘To capture, test and inject the beast costs over £3000 over a five year period.  The best opportunity to find infection-free badgers is when they are young, but as they stay in their sett as cubs, it is all but impossible to vaccinate them during this period meaning by the time they emerge they have often already been infected by their parents.’

Mr Paisley concluded his argument by stressing the point that in a ‘perfect world’ vaccinations would be the answer, but as this is sadly not the case, we have to ‘face the reality’ that while vaccinations are an important tool, they are not the answer and ‘culling has to continue to a certain degree to protect the agricultural industry and the thousands of people in North Antrim whose way of life depends on it.’

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