HL Deb 15 March 2005 vol 670 cc128-9WA
Baroness Byford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Answer by the Lord Whitty on 26 January (Official Report, col. 1261), how many badgers are estimated to live in Cornwall; how many cattle have been slaughtered in the past four years because of bovine tuberculosis infection in Cornwall; how many cattle, based on current trends, will be slaughtered in 2005 and 2006 in Cornwall; and what will be the cost of their slaughter. [HL1509]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

The number of badgers in Cornwall is not available. However, the badger population for GB as a whole in the mid-1990s was in the region of 300,000–400,0001.

The number of cattle slaughtered2 under TB control measures in Cornwall between 2001 and 2004 are detailed in the table below.

Year Cattle slaughtered2
20013 801
20023 2,917
2003 2,414
2004 2,351


1 Source:

The National Badger Survey, Wilson, Harris and McLaren, 1997 2 TB reactors plus direct contacts. Data downloaded from the State Veterinary Service database on 18–19 January 2005 (2004 data downloaded on 8–9 February 2005). 2002–04 data provisional and subject to change as more data become available.

3 In 2001, the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. When testing resumed in 2002, resources were concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests which would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease. Also the proportion of high-risk herds tested immediately after the FMD outbreak was greater than that prior to the outbreak. As a result, data for 2001 and 2002 are not comparable with other years.

It is not possible to predict accurately the numbers of cattle which will be slaughtered in Cornwall in 2005 and 2006, or the cost of doing so.