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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
 Global pharmaceutical companies were recently called on to pay for a $2bn (1.3bn) innovation fund for researching new antibiotics, in a report by a review team led by economist Jim O'Neill.

Mr O'Neill draws parallels between the banking crisis and the looming catastrophe of a world where antibiotics no longer work. He says that big pharma needs to act with "enlightened self-interest" because "if it gets really bad, somebody is going to come gunning for these guys just how people came gunning for finance".

But who are the real culprits?

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News Shorts
Almost half do no research before buying a pet

Animal charity Wood Green has revealed nearly 50 per cent of the pet owners it surveyed did no research at all before choosing their pet. The charity released the results to coincide with this week's National Unwanted Pet Week.

There are around a quarter of a million unwanted animals in the UK at any one time, according to the Association of Dog and Cat Homes. Wood Green believes this is a deepening problem and has itself seen a 6 per cent rise in stray dogs in the past six months. The charity says lack of research before buying a pet is partially to blame.