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http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101011/text/101011w0001.htm#10101121000299....

Badgers: Disease Control

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, for what length of time it is proposed that a regime of licences for badger culling should be in place. [16001]

Mr Paice: The proposal in the consultation on a badger control policy is that licences to cull badgers would cover a fixed period, but not less than four years. It also makes clear that the policy of granting licences will be reviewed after four years, or sooner if any monitoring data show unexpected results or if new evidence or control tools become available (such as an oral badger vaccine and/or cattle vaccine).

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what criteria will be used by Natural England to determine how many badgers in a proposed cull area may be killed. [16002]


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Mr Paice: As set out in the consultation on a badger control policy, to gain a licence to cull, applicants will have to show that culling will achieve badger densities low enough to reduce TB transmission but not lead to local extinction.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of policing badger culls; and whether she has discussed this with the Association of Chief Police Officers. [16043]

Mr Paice: It is possible that any future culling operation will generate policing costs. However, the scale of any extra policing needed is difficult to quantify at this stage, as it depends on the extent of the threat of any illegal activity. We are currently discussing a range of issues relating to badger control measures with the Association of Chief Police Officers, including costs.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, whether culling licences will permit farmers to go on to other landowners' property to cull badgers. [16045]

Mr Paice: Culling licences would not permit compulsory access to land for culling. As set out in the consultation document, one of the proposed criteria for a culling licence would be that there is access for culling over at least 70% of the land area.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what percentage of landowners in a minimum area of 150 square kilometres will have to take part in an application for a badger culling licence to meet the requirement laid down in the consultation document. [16046]

Mr Paice: As set out in the consultation on a badger control policy, to gain a licence to cull, applicants will have to demonstrate that within the area of at least 150 km(2 )there is access for culling to over 70% of the area.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, whether badgers culled under the proposals will undergo post-mortem testing for bovine tuberculosis. [16047]

Mr Paice: Given the extent of evidence already available on the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the badger population, we do not propose to check whether individual badgers are infected with bTB.

 Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department plans to spend on vaccines against bovine tuberculosis in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [16044]

Mr Paice: Planned expenditure on bovine tuberculosis vaccines during the current financial year (20010-11) is 6.7 million. This includes vaccines research and the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project.

No decisions on future spend will be made until the results of the spending review are known.