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Summer badger cull for Gloucestershire

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

  • Summer badger cull planned

  • Badger

Comments (11)

Badger culls in Gloucestershire will go ahead this summer.

Two pilot badger culls to tackle the spread of bovine TB will begin in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset, the Government's environment secretary Owen Paterson confirmed today.

The culls will begin at any point from June 1 and will last for six weeks, being repeated annually for four years.

The cull will be carried out through free shooting.

Independent assessors will check to see if enough badgers are being removed and whether the removal is humane.

Speaking at the National Farmers Union (NFU) annual conference, Mr Paterson announced that authorisation letters have been issued by Natural England confirming the culls can proceed this summer.

He also warned that if for some reason one of the two pilots don't happen because of an unforseen circumstance, he will launch another cull in Dorset instead.

He said: "Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry. The authorisation letters issued today confirming culling can proceed this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is an important step towards taking the action we need to tackle the spread of this disease in wildlife.

"I am determined that there are no further delays this year. That is why we have taken the sensible step with the farming industry to elect a reserve area that can be called upon should anything happen to prevent culling in Somerset or Gloucester.

"These pilot culls are just one part of our approach to control and eradicate this dreadful disease. We are using everything at our disposal to get to grips with TB including new tougher controls on moving cattle, increased herd testing and working to get effective vaccines ready as soon as possible."

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11 comments

  • geraint2010  |  February 28 2013, 3:47PM

    Trust me - the great British public is not going to let this happen.

    Rate   6
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  • supernova1  |  February 28 2013, 3:24PM

    CBCschmucks.....spot on. Disgusting animal welfare and general husbandry have been shown to be to blame. Our farms are a disgrace. Lazy farmers leave piles of rubbish everywhere. I went to Minorca a few years ago. Down the tiniest lanes, encountering local farms, their fields and premises were a delight. Here, they just don't care. As well, bTB accounts for just 10% of the premature slaughtering of cattle. Why no fuss about the other 90%? I've always said it's a convenient arrangement. The farmer gets his full price, and the vets get to charge exorbitant prices. I don't want to see animals suffer. The thought of dodgy old farmers taking pot-shots at badgers, with no thought of the dangers fills me with disgust. Also, no-one thought of this? With the horse-meat scandal, we will need to buy more British beef, yet the reason Defra give for not vaccinating cattle, is that it contravenes EU law. Well, firstly, we'll be out of EU soon, thank Chr!st, but also, surely, we can just sell the vaccinated beef to UK customers. Is it really that simple, or have I overlooked something?

    Rate   3
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  • CBCschmucks  |  February 28 2013, 8:24AM

    Controversial badger cull given the go-ahead despite outrage from animal welfare group and even the scientists agree it's not required. But the farmers who contaminate our ground water pollute the food chain and now kill our loved wildlife blame the baders for the TB situation. This decision to cull badgers is a disgrace, blame the farmers as they are the truly guilty ones.

    Rate   8
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  • jonno2010  |  February 27 2013, 9:26PM

    Its about time they culled the Wild Boar as well ,they are ruining the forest,!!!

    Rate   -5
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  • lordigaga  |  February 27 2013, 7:09PM

    the Government's ANTI environment secretary Owen Paterson, is more like it. the farmers (tories), want a nice sterile countryside with maybe a few foxes to cruelly kill.

    Rate   5
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  • Clued-Up  |  February 27 2013, 5:00PM

    Paterson's showing absolute contempt for Parliament (which voted against the badger cull), the voters (polls vary but around 90% public are against the cull) and expert advice from all the UK's leading scientific and animal health organisations. As Paterson is acting like a dictator on this matter, what can the electorate legally do to stop his badger killing project? Putting Cameron and Clegg under pressure directly and indirectly (via Tory and LibDem MPs worried about losing their seats) to sack him would be helpful. He's been a very ineffective minister to date, possibly making it easier to topple him. Individuals and groups could do their best to identify ahead of time the cull areas, the residents and businesses in those areas and the landowners giving permission for their land to be shot over; then:-. Leaflet drop the residents explaining the costs to the tax-payer (over £1M just in planning costs, how many million pounds every month of the cull?) of killing badgers, how tougher cattle control is already controlling bTB much better than the cull, etc. Ask residents to supply information that might help lawful protesters to prevent the slaughter. Lobby the uninvolved businesses inviting their support and pointing out the costs to them of the cull going ahead (eg reduction in tourist numbers for years, as happened after the Foot & Mouth outbreak). Get them to lobby their neighbours who are currently proposing to participate in the cull. Start planning the logistics and public relations campaign for the protests, getting back-up and advice as necessary from the national campaigning groups.

    Rate   7
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  • Glosstephen  |  February 27 2013, 4:34PM

    Culling doesn't work. Unless you kill all the badgers in the UK badgers from adjacent regions will simply move in. Similar problem with pigeons in city centres. There the solution is to build them coops to attract them away from the city centre and feed them there, slap fines on people discarding food and feeding them. Killing pigeons doesn't work. I don't know what the solution is. The estimated cost of the cull last year was greater than the savings expected from saving cows. I know that there is not a reliable TB vaccine for cattle and there are problems with EU rules on this also. If such a thing exists the best solution would be to vaccinate the badgers and eliminate TB from badgers. If it does not exist maybe somebody should spend some money trying to get one to work rather than this pointless culling exercise. For the moment the simplest solution may be to compensate farmers whose cattle has to be put down. It is not a good solution but it seems better and more cost-effective than the one (local culling of badgers) that has been approved.

    Rate   5
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  • Glosstephen  |  February 27 2013, 4:33PM

    Culling doesn't work. Unless you kill all the badgers in the UK badgers from adjacent regions will simply move in. Similar problem with pigeons in city centres. There the solution is to build them coops to attract them away from the city centre and feed them there, slap fines on people discarding food and feeding them. Killing pigeons doesn't work. I don't know what the solution is. The estimated cost of the cull last year was greater than the savings expected from saving cows. I know that there is not a reliable TB vaccine for cattle and there are problems with EU rules on this also. If such a thing exists the best solution would be to vaccinate the badgers and eliminate TB from badgers. If it does not exist maybe somebody should spend some money trying to get one to work rather than this pointless culling exercise. For the moment the simplest solution may be to compensate farmers whose cattle has to be put down. It is not a good solution but it seems better and more cost-effective than the one (local culling of badgers) that has been approved.

    Rate   4
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  • nomossystone  |  February 27 2013, 2:08PM

    I have twice had to suffer the smell of burning animals 2 fields away from my home this smell was also coming from a small animals clinic in the village where incinerated animals smell could be detected when walking past the premises, some years back, all done quite legally I am sure. This place is now an accountancy firm. The smell of burning had been getting more frequent But twice over the last 2 years I have had to stomach this disgusting smell again, the stench of smoke - ( now a different smell of burning) has been constant over the last 2 months , Since 18/2/2013 -- this has stopped. If the stench of burning animals again drifts across the field in June or at any other time I will suspect carcasses of badgers being burned.

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  • Terrythedog  |  February 27 2013, 1:37PM

    If in doubt just kill, kill, kill eh?

    Rate   4
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