A NORTH East MEP has joined forces with Queen guitarist Brian May to urge a rethink on badger culling.
Fiona Hall met with the musician and animal rights campaigner and RSPCA bosses at the European Parliament in Brussels to urge more focus to be put on finding alternatives to badger culls.
Fiona said: “No one underestimates the damage being caused to the farming industry by bovine TB.
“It is jeopardising the livelihoods of farmers.
“The National Farmers’ Union is right to highlight the problem as one of the most pressing threats to the livestock industry.
“But killing thousands of badgers is not the answer.
“In fact, the badger cull is a distraction from the most effective long-term solution to this problem: cattle vaccination.
“Up until now, the problem with vaccination has been the difficulty in distinguishing in tests between animals that have TB and those that simply have antibodies from vaccination.
“Now there is a test, the DIVA test, which makes it possible. But it is yet to be approved at a European level.
“Efforts are much better focused on securing that approval as quickly as we can rather than undertaking a badger cull, the effectiveness of which is still in dispute.”