Torbay MP Adrian Sanders secures badger cull debate
TORBAY MP Adrian Sanders has helped secure a six-hour debate in Parliament into the planned badger cull.
The Lib Dem politician was part of a cross-party delegation of MPs, supported by campaigners , including Queen guitarist Brian May, opposed to the controversial move aimed at tackling TB in cattle, who won the Commons time slot next Thursday, October 25.
The decision to give the go-ahead to two pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset has sparked protests, and led to more than 100,000 people signing a petition launched by the campaigning rock-star.
If deemed to be successful, the cull is set to be rolled out to other 'hotspot' areas for bovine TB, which could include South Devon. In the South West almost a quarter of farms were under movement restrictions due to TB last year.
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Mr Sanders said: "I am delighted we are going to get a proper debate. Nobody is under any illusions how devastating bovine TB is to cattle, farmers, and farming communities. We all want to crack this but this is not the best way."
Tory MP for Totnes Dr Sarah Wollaston said: "Over the past decade bovine TB has been allowed to spread out of control across the UK. Last year in Devon alone 5,653 cows were destroyed, bringing devastation to farming families.
"Sadly, badgers are an important source of TB and live for many years after infection, spreading TB. In the future I hope there will be an oral bait vaccine for badgers and a safe effective vaccine that our farmers are allowed to use for cows.
"In the meantime we should do everything we can to prevent the disease spreading."
"Vaccination cannot treat a diseased badger. It is time to show the same compassion for our farmers and livestock as we do for badgers and answer the questions about whether a cull can help bring this disease under control."