NOVEMBER 15, 2008: Farmers’ hopes that a new TB Eradication Group might lead to a change of heart by the Government over badger culling appear to have been dashed.

They had hoped Government-industry group would come up with new evidence to force Defra Secretary Hilary Benn to soften his opposition to culling.But this appeared to be shattered when Mr Benn gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.Mr Benn stressed he had not changed his mind on allowing a badger cull and made it clear he was unlikely to do so, whatever fresh evidence was put before him.Afterwards NFU president Peter Kendall said he was ‘very disappointed at Mr Benn’s comments. He said the NFU may need to reconsider its position with regard to the TB Eradication group.The Government is pressing ahead with its policy of advocating development of a vaccine to combat Bovine TB.

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