Neil Parish MP supports the Government’s continued efforts to tackle Bovine TB in cattle.
Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): I thank the Secretary of State for his commitment to eradicating TB. In Devon, a quarter of the herds are affected by TB, and a third of the badgers are infected with the disease. It has been scientifically proven that half the cases of TB in the endemic areas have been transferred by badgers to cattle. When will more culls take place? Can we put the relevant areas together so that when the lessons have been learned from the two pilot culls, we will be ready to roll out the culls across Devon? Our farmers in Devon are absolutely desperate.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr Owen Paterson): I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his support. He has been stalwart in defending his constituents and bringing to my personal attention the horrific problem of bovine tuberculosis, particularly in Devon. When I was at the North Devon show, I asked the farming organisations there to start organising. There are 30 areas that have shown an interest in having culls, once we have got the pilots behind us, so my advice to those in Devon is: start organising. Once we have perfected the technique in Somerset and Gloucestershire, I am keen to roll it out because I understand the desperation in areas such as that of my hon. Friend that have such an intensity of disease.
Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 3 April 2014, c1044)