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Badger cull to start tomorrow?

By citizenmike  |  Posted: October 14, 2012

Could badger cull begin on Monday?

Could badger cull begin on Monday?

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The badger cull could be starting as early as tomorrow, it has been suggested.

The suggestion that it might begin on Monday in Gloucestershire and Somerset follows the granting of a second licence by Natural England last week to allow farmers to shoot badgers to help control bovine tuberculosis among cattle.

Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports has made an eleventh hour plea for a halt to the cull.

It is calling for the Government to postpone the badger cull trials and to debate the issue within the House of Commons as a matter of priority.

Chief executive Joe Duckworth said: "Proceeding with the trial badger cull flies in the face of the overwhelming public opposition and scientific evidence.

"The Government must listen to us and the countless thousands of voters, who see badger culling as an unjustified, cruel and counter-productive policy."

More than 150,000 people signed a petition backing the anti-cull campaign.

Farmer David Purser has spoken out against a pilot badger cull.

The 56-year-old, who owns a farm near Cheltenham, about 20 miles from the edge of the cull zone, says there is "no justification" to shoot the creatures.

Mr Purser, who has kept his own cattle since the 1980s, insisted culling was not the answer, and called for new legislation on vaccinating cattle to be pushed through.

"In every other instance where disease threatens our cattle we have vaccination in our armoury," he said.

It comes as 30 animal disease experts questioned the effects of the cull.

The experts, including the president of the Zoological Society of London and professors from Oxbridge and Imperial College London, have written a letter to the Observer which argues culling badgers could increase the problem of TB in cattle.

Prof Sir Patrick Bateson, a fellow of the Royal Society from the University of Cambridge, wrote: "The Government's TB-control policy for England includes licensing farmers to cull badgers. As scientists with expertise in managing wildlife and wildlife diseases, we believe the complexities of TB transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it.

"Even if such increases do not materialise, the Government predicts only limited benefits, insufficient to offset the costs for either farmers or taxpayers."

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  • stormkettle  |  October 16 2012, 3:10PM

    The NFU threatened DEFRA a few years back (when Labour was in govt), that unless there was a cull of badgers, then they would refuse to cooperate with DEFRA about costs of disease control , and tightening restrictions of cattle movements. Have the NFU twisted the arm of DEFRA into reluctantly proceeding with this utterly wrong cull ?

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  • eyeopener  |  October 14 2012, 10:23PM

    @2ladybugs Lost for words and forced to adopt a 'superior tone' again? A bit rich from one who is used to robustly commenting on others. If such a body can't get such a basic error right in the papers title then its obviously not a proof read document and certainly unlikely to be more authoritative than the 30 UK animal disease experts, including the president of the Zoological Society of London and professors from Oxbridge and Imperial College London who have just written to The Observer. No doubt in a minute inorder to maintain the illusion of grandeur and knowledge you will issue one of your customary cackles and declare that your off for a couple of Armagnac before preparing some mysterious but important paper for one of the 'departments' you work for. The more you write the more you sound like a character from a James Thurber novel; you know the one "The Secret Life of......" or a PG Wodehouse novel. Funny how the rest of us can get by and post our views without needing to create some elaborate pretence.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 9:53PM

    Grow up eyeopener. So they spelled the name wrong what a ridiculous childish comment. Do you mean to say that you have never spelled anything wrong!!!!?????? Oh and BTW the FUW DID mention it and they were ignored.

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  • eyeopener  |  October 14 2012, 9:27PM

    @2ladybugs More faulty science? Apparently these 'experts' reported on the 28th March after a meeting opened by David Calpin, programme manager for the bovine TB programme in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra). This learned body stated that the meeting took place at Worchester (sic). Yes! They don't even know the name of the place they all met at, but somehow they are all qualified to tell 30 UK animal disease experts, including the president of the Zoological Society of London and professors from Oxbridge and Imperial College London, that THEY have got it all wrong! http://tinyurl.com/8esb3cd If this report was so authoritative why didn't the Farmers Union of Wales mention this before? One gets a feeling of Deja Vu where pharmaceutical companies draft 'research' to suit their purposes and supress any studies that do not produce the 'right' results.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 8:56PM

    as supplied by omnivore23 Sunday, October 14 2012, 8:13PM http://tinyurl.com/9mtqhb3 there you go ladybugs - it's six years old mind Ha!ha!ha!.......47,000 responses coo that makes the 130k signatures they've got now look massive. ha!ha!ha!. Most people, apart from animal rights, conservationists etc probably couldn't be a***d to reply. Now I've gone and got the giggles. Ha!ha!ha!. That has made my day. :)))))" 96% Is this where the figures are coming from!!!?????

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  • eyeopener  |  October 14 2012, 7:58PM

    @Countrylad do you know something the scientists don't? Not even DEFRA claims that all the badgers are infected. Let's get it straight from the ministers mouth "Mr Heath told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The evidence that we have, the scientific support we have, suggests that a cull of the sort that we are proposing would be a contribution towards bearing down on the disease." There we have it a "contribution" and a pretty small one at that. Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, a fellow of the Royal Society from the University of Cambridge, wrote: "The Government's TB-control policy for England includes licensing farmers to cull badgers. As scientists with expertise in managing wildlife and wildlife diseases, we believe the complexities of TB transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it. It is also grossly uneconomic, At a time when Cameron says "we are all in this together" and Osborne is preaching the benefits of austerity and lowering taxes to encourage the wealth creators the government is pandering to the NFU with tax payers money to the tune of £100m all to avoid the loss of an export trade of £3m. That is a net loss of £97m to sustain a scientifically flawed bTB slaughter policy. We ought instead to be getting the EU's permission to use the vaccine. What is worse is that the government are ignoring the fact that majority of Public Opinion is against the cull. Still when its Chief Whip calls Police Officers "plebs" and refuses after abusing Police Officers to reveal exactly what he did say should we be surprised? At the end of the day the government is wasting YOUR money and not their own.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 7:56PM

    A EUROPEAN task force of scientific experts has criticised the Welsh Government's decision to vaccinate rather than cull badgers to control bovine TB, the Farmers' Union of Wales has revealed. The FUW says a report by the European Commission's bTB sub-group – comprising veterinary experts from across the European Union – states: "There is no scientific evidence to demonstrate that badger vaccination will reduce the incidence of TB in cattle. "However, there is considerable evidence to support the removal of badgers in order to improve the TB status of both badgers and cattle." According to the report, UK politicians "must accept their responsibility to their own farmers and taxpayers as well as to the rest of the European Union and commit to a long-term strategy that is not dependent on elections". It also states: "The Welsh eradication plan will lose some impetus as badger culling will now be replaced with badger vaccination. "This was not part of the original strategy that consisted of a comprehensive plan that has now been disrupted." The FUW claims the report's conclusions confirm that Wales' TB eradication programme has been severely compromised and reflects what the union has been saying regarding badger culling for the past decade. FUW TB spokesman, Carmarthen dairy farmer Brian Walters, said: "More than five years ago, the FUW wrote to the European Commission to highlight these concerns and asked that Europe properly analyse the science and take a robust approach to the UK's failure to tackle TB in badgers. "At last, the scientific experts have not only come out and supported what we have been saying all along but they have also effectively slammed the Welsh Government for making policies based upon elections, rather than tackling disease.

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  • lordmureth  |  October 14 2012, 7:42PM

    Countrylad: sorry, but that's blatantly wrong. The RBCT showed that only a small percentage of badgers were infected. If you want to kill badgers, at least have the courage to say it; I'm fed up with the "nobody wants to kill badgers" line spouted by DEFRA and the NFU cos lets face it - lots of people DO WANT TO, flying in the face of all scientific reason.

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  • Clued-Up  |  October 14 2012, 7:34PM

    Parliament has still to debate the badger cull (as it's supposed to do - the number of signatures on the e-petition already far exceeds the 100,000 necessary to trigger such a debate). Allowing the cull to go ahead before Parliament has had the opportunity to stop it seems pretty close to contempt for the democratic process.

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  • badger123  |  October 14 2012, 7:25PM

    The cull should not take place.Have you not listened to the 30 experts ,oh sorry i forgot you were the only expert Countrylad

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