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Dublin: 6°C Saturday 5 December 2020

The Government needs 25,000 badger body bags

The Department of Agriculture regularly carries out culls of the animals, as they carry TB.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture is tendering for the provision of the 25,ooo units to contain ‘Biological Material’ — essentially, badger body bags.

Officials recently placed a post on a Government tendering site seeking “up to a maximum of 25,000 units of packaging” for the “storage and transport of badger carcasses”.

The Department regularly carries out culls of the animals as part of its nationwide TB eradication programme, as the disease is present in both badgers and cattle in Ireland.

In an answer to a recent parliamentary question, Minister Simon Coveney indicated that the policy was set to continue for the coming years…

Research conducted over the years by the Department and others has demonstrated that the eradication of bovine TB disease is not a practicable proposition until the issue of the reservoir of infection in badgers, which is seeding infection into the cattle population, is addressed.

Work is also under way on vaccinations, he added:

….the ultimate objective of my Department is to incorporate badger vaccination into the Irish TB eradication programme when data is available to ensure that it can be incorporated in an optimally effective and sustainable manner.

A number of field trials are ongoing in Ireland with this objective in mind, but it is anticipated that it will be a number of years before a viable oral delivery method can be put in place and, therefore, targeted badger removals will continue in the medium term.

A cull of around 12,000 badgers is planned over the next two years. 

Read: Ireland culled up to 39,000 badgers in six years

Pictures: Animal rights protesters think Simon Coveney has ‘blood on his hands’

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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