Tackling bovine TB: Our latest media coverage

20 April 2021

NFU county adviser Peter Howells was quoted on the BBC News Wales website as saying the Welsh Government need to adopt a comprehensive policy that looks at the evidence when making TB related decisions as the article suggested healthy cattle may be culled due to TB worries.





As Farming Today continues it's week-long focus on bovine TB, today it tackled the badger cull and interviewed NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts on the impact on farmers and the government’s TB eradication strategy. Listen back from 7 mins.

Dairy farmer Max Sealy featured on BBC Radio 4's Today programme (21 mins) as they looked into the badger cull, and outlined the impact TB has on farming families.

In this month's edition of the Countryfile magazine, they go behind the headlines on bTB and the badger cull, quoting NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts who emphasised the devastating financial and emotional impact on farmers. Vet Sarah Tomlinson, who sits on the NFU's TB group, also featured.


Defra announces field trials for cattle vaccination

inews reported the news that field trials of a skin test and vaccine against bTB will kick off next year. NFU President Minette Batters is quoted explaining how we hope this will help us to understand the potential role of cattle vaccination as part of a complete bovine TB eradication strategy.

On BBC Farming Today, dairy farmer and NFU appointed board member Phil Latham gave a cautious reaction to the announcement of the field trials - he said there's a long way to go. 


Judicial review of ban on Derbyshire badger cull

National print reported the NFU’s legal challenge against the government for deciding against issuing a licence for a badger cull in Derbyshire last year was unsuccessful. NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was quoted by the Press Association emphasising that the decision was made against absolutely all the scientific and veterinary advice and left farmers in the Derbyshire area, who met all the licence criteria, completely devastated.

BBC News reported that Natural England has approved seven new badger culling sites as part of government efforts to control tuberculosis in cattle. The piece mentions the NFU’s legal challenge to the revoking of culling licenses in Derbyshire last year.

Godfray Review on TB strategy

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today in response to the review where he said culling is a vital tool to enable the industry to get on top of the disease quickly and reduce further transmission.

BBC Radio 4 Today spoke to NFU livestock board member David Barton about the impact of TB on his farm and that the TB strategy must be based on science and evidence.

The NFU's response also featured across national newspapers. Read the articles here:



Downs report 

NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts was quoted across national print media saying the research shows the effectiveness culling has on reducing TB levels in cattle.

Stuart Roberts in The Telegraph on TB_72682One of the articles included the i paper where he featured alongsidelivestock board member David Barton who shared his TB story.

Read the full article here.

David Barton TB headline_72692

Read more NFU coverage on TB and the Downs report in The Telegraph and The Times.

The NFU questioned why the BBC highlighted data looking at TB levels in Dorset, despite the report's authors saying it was not statistically significant. 

ZSL study on TB transmission

A study led by the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London reported that badger culling potentially increases the chance of TB transmission to other animals.

NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts told BBC News he believed culling was reducing the incidence of bTB.

BBC News at One 9.10.19 zsl study Stuart Roberts interview_69491

Farming's response also featured in online coverage of the study, with BBC News quoting the NFU and Sky News featuring NFU livestock board member David Barton.

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