Neil quizzes Environment Ministers

Neil used his questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ask about evidence on the effectiveness of the badger cull and for the impact of the Russian ban on EU imports on British Dairy Farmers.

  • Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con)

    When will the Minister be able to give the scientific figures for the badger cull areas to show the reduction in the amount of disease in cattle?


  • George Eustice

    As my hon. Friend knows, the randomised badger culling trials a decade or more ago found that the benefits of the culling of badgers were only seen some four years after the conclusion of the culls. The reality is that the programme is a long-term commitment and it will be several years before we can see the impact of the culls. From figures from last year, however, we know that perturbation, which several hon. Members have previously highlighted to me, was actually far less of an issue in years one and two of the culls in Gloucester and Somerset than people predicted.


    • Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con)

      Dairy farmers are suffering due to low prices—there is a lot of milk in the market. One of the markets that we still cannot get into is Russia. What is happening? Is there any chance that we can get back into that market? European and British dairy farmers are paying a high price for the ban on exports to Russia. 


    • The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (George Eustice)

      My hon. Friend makes the important point that the Russian trade embargo has exacerbated the challenges facing the dairy sector and others, such as the pig sector. However, we put in place sanctions against Russia because of its totally unacceptable conduct against Ukraine and its incursions into Ukrainian territory. It is important that we show solidarity with other European countries and do not accept how Russia has behaved towards Ukraine.