§ Mr. Marland
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will provide further details on how Professor Dunnet's recommended interim strategy for badger control will be applied.
§ Mr. Jopling
I announced on 7 April that action against badgers would be confined to that part of the breakdown farm where it was believed tuberculosis was transmitted to cattle or the whole farm if it was not possible to be more precise. Professor Dunnet's recommendation on this point also proposed that prior sampling of badgers and delineation of social groups should be discontinued. With the support of the consultative panel on badgers and tuberculosis I have now accepted the recommendation that prior sampling of badger social groups should be discontinued since maintenance of this procedure within the new strategy would be statistically unsound and could weaken its effectiveness in disease control terms. On the question of the delineation of social group territories, under the new strategy I have decided, again with the support of the panel, that the technique should no longer be carried out as a standard procedure but that it should continue to be employed where reliable results can be obtained which will be useful for operational or research purposes and provided there is no delay.