bTB 'could finish off dairy farming'

FEBRUARY 5, 2010: The bovine TB epidemic could put an end to dairy farming unless the Government takes decisive action on badgers, says a leading scientist.

Sir David King, the Government’s chief scientific advisor from 2000-2007, said Defra’s refusal to tackle the badger population, when it knows that wildlife spread the disease, was a ‘source of great exasperation’ to him.“I wonder whether Britain will still be a dairy farming country if this continues,” he said. “The problem needs to be addressed with great seriousness.” More than 16,000 dairy cattle were slaughtered in the 2007/8 milk year as a result of TB testing – equivalent to 114 million litres of lost milk supply and, as a result, milk production has fallen to its lowest level in 37 years.