Farmers admit to gassing badgers
13 Aug 2005 - BBC News
Some farmers are illegally gassing badger setts because they say they are
infecting their cattle herds with tuberculosis, the BBC has learned.
As badgers are a protected species, it is against the law to kill them or
tamper with their sets.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) says this is now happening routinely, and
wants the law changed to make it legal.
But animal protection groups say there is no firm evidence culling badgers
would reduce bovine TB outbreaks.
Last year farmers received £88m in costs and compensation as a result of
animal loss caused by the disease.
Farmers say the spread of TB in cattle is now out of control and blame
protected badgers setts for causing it.
The NFU says many farmers are now taking matters into their own hands.
Environmentalists cite a study which found the disease was more closely
associated with cattle movements than proximity to badgers.
The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would
look at the issue again in the autumn.
The results of the government's own scientific study have yet to be
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