The government will also begin an exit strategy from the intensive culling of badgers, while ensuring that wildlife control remains a tool that can be deployed where the epidemiological evidence supports it. As soon as possible, we intend to pilot badger vaccination in at least one area where the four-year cull cycle has concluded, with simultaneous surveillance of disease. Our aim is to identify an exit strategy from culling in those areas that have completed the four years of intensive culling by deploying vaccination to the remaining badger population.https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/870414/bovine-tb-strategy-review-government-response.pdf
I need to read all of this, but it is clearly good news. And it comes from the new Secretary of State who as Farming Minister had consistently supported the Badger cull as sound and important. It is good news for farming (although the NFU will probably not see it that way) and good news for the taxpayer.
It is a bit late, but nonetheless welcome now. And I wonder whether coronavirus played a part in this decision – it’s difficult to listen to the scientists in one (human) disease and be so deaf to their advice in another (animal) disease and not look a bit foolish. Badgers may have coronavirus to thank a little for their coming reprieve, but there are many stalwart folk who have campaigned for a rational approach to bovine TB for many years and they deserve our thanks at this time, too.