Public consultation on badger cull in Northern Ireland

The BBC reported that DAERA (the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) were to hold a public consultation on a badger cull in Northern Ireland.

This announcement comes just months after Stormont officials insisted that their would be no badger cull in Northern Ireland.

The consultation runs from the 30th November til the 1st February and will discuss ways that Northern Ireland can tackle the spread of bovine TB. In Northern Ireland, one in ten herds now have bTB. It is costing the taxpayer £40 million a year to combat.

Much of that money is being spent on compensation. Currently farmers are entitled to market value compensation for a infected cow. However, part of the new proposal brought to the public consultation is a 10% reduction in that compensation. As well as a £1,500 cap on non-pedigree cattle. This motion has angered many in the farming community.

This consultation will also anger wildlife campaigners. One of the main proposals is the introduction of a targeted badger cull. Ultimately, the widening of the badger cull to Northern Ireland will increase the number of healthy badgers which will be indiscriminately shot.