§ Liz Blackman
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to carry out research into badger capture methods. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The Bourne Group, which advises the Government on aspects of TB in cattle and badgers, recommended that the Ministry should investigate other humane capture methods for badgers, such as leg cuffs, as an adjunct to cage trapping. It also recommended that we should assess the actual welfare implications of snaring carried out in accordance with proper guidelines.
I have decided not to finance research into the use of snares. But I consider it would be prudent to examine whether leg cuffs might be a humane and efficient adjunct to cage traps. As a first step we plan to test a prototype leg cuff. If there is no evidence of harm to badgers a field trial will follow; otherwise the research will be brought to an end.