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Northern Ireland considering culling badgers
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£4 million research programme to be commissioned

Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has responded to recent criticism from the Ulster Farmer's Union (UFU) of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) policy on badger culling as a means of countering the spread of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) by confirming that controlling the disease is a 'key priority'.

Ms O'Neill stated that “We are investing around £4million to commission a programme of TB and wildlife research and studies towards the ultimate aim of eradicating TB in cattle. We will use the evidence produced by this programme to inform a comprehensive approach that deals with all aspects of TB and will help to reduce the level of disease in cattle.”

“We already have a rigorous EU Commission approved eradication programme in place. We also need to build a sound evidence base to underpin further interventions in cattle and/or wildlife that could help to reduce TB as part of our eradication programme.” the Minister added.

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News Story 1
 There are two excellent, thought-provoking pieces that caught my eye in this week's Veterinary Record [177(4) July 25 2015]. They set us off down a challenging pathway.

In his 'Comment', the editor drew attention to the gathering momentum of calls from both the human medical and veterinary professions for greater communication, collaboration and cohesion under the 'One Health' banner. 'The idea that doctors and vets have much to learn from each other was appealing 10 years ago,' he concludes. 'In this, and many other respects, it is even more attractive now.'

To read the full blog visit www.vetcommunity.com 

News Shorts
Cuts to seagull study funding

George Osborne has cut £250,000 funding allocated for a study into how to curb the aggressive behaviour of seagulls.

The £250,000 would have funded research into improving understanding of the birds' life cycles and behaviours. However, the chancellor scrapped the research programme in his first Conservative budget last month, deeming it 'low priority'.