Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywS Rhosier (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Policy updates re culling badgers for bTb & not testing hound packs for bTb

S Rhosier (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

We're waiting for S Rhosier (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) to read a recent response and update the status.

S Rhosier (Ataliwyd y cyfrif)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I refer to 3 previous requests from me for updates from you.

1. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/6...
To quote from your response:
'There is no direct link between the number of cattle TB incidents in a county and the
methodology for setting cull minimum and maximum numbers for a cull area in a county. '
If there is no direct link then why are you setting cull numbers at all, given that you are not correlating location of bTb outbreaks with numbers of badger setts in those locations? There is no logic in such a policy and so it becomes a randomly baseless and highly financially costly decision resulting in unnecessary wildlife cruelty. Please explain your reasoning/ justification in this matter.

2.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/6...
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/6...
To quote from your responses:
a. 'There are no specific regulations in place to stop the access of hound packs to farm or public land for TB control purposes. Therefore the information is not held.'
Why are there no such regulations, given the high cost, regional spread and severity of bTb outbreaks? You are a government department and should be active in updating the policies by which you operate.

b. 'Furthermore, there is no obvious correlation between the location of hunts and the areas of high incidence of TB in cattle across England. So, there is no evidence that hunting contributes to the spread of TB amongst cattle or between packs of hounds. Overall, they play an insignificant role in the epidemiology and persistence of bovine TB (bTB) in England. Therefore, blanket restrictions along the lines suggested to prevent access of hound packs to public land, farm land or specific cattle farms affected by TB breakdowns would be disproportionate and are not considered necessary'.
'There is no statutory testing of hunting hounds for tuberculosis. There are no validated
diagnostic tests available for routine ante mortem TB screening of dogs. Hunts can arrange for private TB testing using a commercially available (but not validated) interferon-gamma
release assay, as well as routine post-mortem examinations of hounds that die of
unexplained causes. The suspicion of TB in the carcase of (and the identification of M. bovis in samples taken from) a dog must be notified to APHA under the Tuberculosis (England) Order 2014'.
Please provide your sources for the 'no obvious correlation' statement, since you do not operate a policy of regular mandatory hound pack testing for bTb. Failing to monitor hunts and ensure that hunts maintain appropriate biosecurity creates a statistical abyss of zero data. Also, feeding hound packs infected fallen stock cannot logically or reasonably be described as 'insignificant'. Hunts are 'for profit' businesses so are unlikely to spend money on private Tb testing unless forced to do so. As with any business, hunts must comply with health and safety legislation yet none apparently exists despite the Kimblewick incident. How are you able to be certain that hunts inform APHA of infected hounds when hunts demonstrably operate kennels on a tight budget which does not include health care? It's a matter of various records that hunts shoot hounds instead of medicating them.

3. Having identified these information gaps re the culpability of badgers in spreading bTb, how do you propose to remedy them? Due to home building on rural/semi rural land parcels, badgers have emulated foxes by relocating to land/gardens in urban areas so do they pose a threat of bTb infection in the human population and, if so, how do you plan to address that?

S Rhosier

SM-Defra-Helpline, Defra (MCU), Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig



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Defra Information Rights Team,

Dear S Rhosier,

Thank you for your email which we received on the 13 June requesting
information.

We aim to answer your request no later than 9th July, which is 20 working
days from the date we received it. If we are unable to meet this deadline
we will contact you to explain the reason.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact us.

Yours sincerely

Marie Davies

Information Rights Team

[email address]

SM-Defra-Information Requests (DEFRA), Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig

Dear S Rhosier

 

Following on from our acknowledgement it has been decided that your email
will be responded to under general correspondence. Requests made under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIRs) are requests for recorded information and any
correspondence for views or explanations would not amount to a valid
request under these regimes.

With that in mind this enquiry has been passed back to the Defra Helpline
to provide you with a response under general correspondence. Should you
wish to contact directly then please email: [1][Defra request email]

 

Kind regards

 

Information Rights Team

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

 

Email: [2]Information [email address]

Address: Area 1E, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

 

 

 

From: Defra Information Rights Team <[3][email address]>
Sent: 14 June 2021 11:41
To: [4][FOI #764983 email]
Subject: Request acknowledgement: Culling badgers for bTb and testing of
hounds (EIR2021/15427)

 

Dear S Rhosier,

Thank you for your email which we received on the 13 June requesting
information.

We aim to answer your request no later than 9th July, which is 20 working
days from the date we received it. If we are unable to meet this deadline
we will contact you to explain the reason.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact us.

Yours sincerely

Marie Davies

Information Rights Team

[5][email address]

 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

 

I refer to 3 previous requests from me for updates from you.

 

1.
[6]https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

To quote from your response:

'There is no direct link between the number of cattle TB incidents in a
county and the methodology for setting cull minimum and maximum numbers
for a cull area in a county. '

If there is no direct link then why are you setting cull numbers at all,
given that you are not correlating location of bTb outbreaks with numbers
of badger setts in those locations? There is no logic in such a policy and
so it becomes a randomly baseless and highly financially costly decision
resulting in unnecessary wildlife cruelty. Please explain your reasoning/
justification in this matter.

 

2.

[7]https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

To quote from your responses:

a. 'There are no specific regulations in place to stop the access of hound
packs to farm or public land for TB control purposes. Therefore the
information is not held.'

Why are there no such regulations, given the high cost, regional spread
and severity of bTb outbreaks? You are a government department and should
be active in updating the policies by which you operate.

 

b. 'Furthermore,  there  is  no  obvious  correlation between the location
of hunts and the areas of high incidence of TB in cattle across England. 
So,  there  is  no  evidence  that  hunting  contributes  to  the  spread 
of  TB  amongst  cattle  or between packs of hounds. Overall, they play an
insignificant role in the epidemiology and persistence of bovine TB (bTB)
in England.  Therefore, blanket restrictions along the lines suggested to
prevent access of hound packs to  public  land,  farm  land  or  specific 
cattle  farms  affected  by  TB  breakdowns  would  be disproportionate
and are not considered necessary'.

'There  is  no  statutory  testing  of  hunting  hounds  for 
tuberculosis. There  are  no  validated diagnostic tests available for
routine ante mortem TB screening of dogs. Hunts can arrange for private TB
testing using a commercially available (but not validated)
interferon-gamma release  assay,  as  well  as  routine  post-mortem 
examinations  of  hounds  that  die  of unexplained causes. The suspicion
of TB in the carcase of (and the identification of M. bovis in samples
taken from) a dog must be notified to APHA under the Tuberculosis
(England) Order 2014'.

Please provide your sources for the 'no obvious correlation' statement,
since you do not operate a policy of regular mandatory hound pack testing
for bTb. Failing to monitor hunts and ensure that hunts maintain
appropriate biosecurity creates a statistical abyss of zero data. Also,
feeding hound packs infected fallen stock cannot logically or reasonably
be described as 'insignificant'. Hunts are 'for profit' businesses so are
unlikely to spend money on private Tb testing unless forced to do so. As
with any business, hunts must comply with health and safety legislation
yet none apparently exists despite the Kimblewick incident. How are you
able to be certain that hunts inform APHA of infected hounds when hunts
demonstrably operate kennels on a tight budget which does not include
health care? It's a matter of various records that hunts shoot hounds
instead of medicating them.

 

3. Having identified these information gaps re the culpability of badgers
in spreading bTb, how do you propose to remedy them? Due to home building
on rural/semi rural land parcels, badgers have emulated foxes by
relocating to land/gardens in urban areas so do they pose a threat of bTb
infection in the human population and, if so, how do you plan to address
that?

 

S Rhosier

 

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) This email and
any attachments is intended for the named recipient only. If you have
received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store or copy
any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems. Communications on Defra's computer systems
may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the
system and for other lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Defra request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[FOI #764983 email]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...
7. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Ministerial Contact Unit,

1 Atodiad

Dear S Rhosier,

Please find attached the response to your request of 13th June for
information on Culling badgers for bTb and testing of hounds.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Team

[email address]

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywS Rhosier (Ataliwyd y cyfrif) mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.