UFU Welcomes Ministers plans to commence second badger sett survey

Thursday, 7 March, 2013

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill’s plans to commence a second badger sett survey, in preparation for the proposed ‘test, vaccinate or remove (TVR)’ wildlife intervention research. DARD have selected an area of 100km² between Castlewellan, Slieve Croob, Seaforde and Dundrum as the location of the second badger sett survey.  

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “The Ministers announcement of plans to commence a second badger sett survey is another positive step forward in our battle to eradicate bovine TB in Northern Ireland.   We have always held the view that the eradication of TB from the countryside can only be achieved by addressing the problem in both cattle and wildlife.   However, while Minister O’Neill’s plans are another step forward in the process, farmers will be concerned that it could entail a lengthy five year research programme.

“Farmers in the selected area will receive a letter from DARD over the next few days seeking agreement for AFBI staff to carry out the sett survey work on their land.  It is vital that the permission slips attached to these letters are signed and returned as quickly as possible and I would encourage all farmers in the Castlewellan area to give their support and co-operation to DARD on this matter.”  

The UFU would also like to encourage those farmers in the Banbridge/Rathfriland area who have yet to return their permission slips to do so now so that sett survey work can continue in the County Down area.