James at The Springfields Academy
James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): Farmers across North Wiltshire will be disappointed about the delay—although they will understand it—but so will true wildlife lovers. Will the Secretary of State confirm that even if a workable badger vaccine was available—there probably is not—it would have no effect whatsoever on badgers that are ill? In other words the hundreds of badgers that are ill, underground and dying in agony would not be affected even if a vaccine was available.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr Owen Paterson): My hon. Friend’s constituents will be as disappointed as mine about this delay and postponement. There is actually an injectable badger vaccine, which was licensed in March last year, but everybody needs to consider the practicality. We have an enormously increased badger population. It is certainly 250,000 to 300,000. An injectable vaccine requires injecting every badger every year and, as I have said on cattle vaccine, it is not possible to cure an animal that is already diseased so, with the deepest respect to the Welsh Government, I am doubtful of the value of that process.
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