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TiG poll: Overwhelming objection to Gloucestershire badger cull

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 04, 2012


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PUBLIC opinion is dramatically opposed to a badger cull in Gloucestershire.

That is according to a poll undertaken on The Citizen's website www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk which asked visitors the question "Do you agree with the proposed badger cull?"

At the time of going to press yesterday, an overwhelming 2,100 said no, while just 227 said yes. A further nine were undecided.

Liz Gaffer, the spokesman for Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting, was not surprised by the statistics.

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She said: "There are many reasons for people being against it and principally these are the scientific evidence saying this will make no difference and concerns over health and safety.

"In terms of the unpopularity of the cull, this is an area we have communicated to the local council and in writing to MPs."

The group handed in a 779-name petition to Gloucestershire County Council last week asking them to prevent their tenant farmers from culling badgers. The issue is being discussed by the full council next month.

Meanwhile Steve Jones, from The Pludds in the Forest of Dean, who has 35 years' experience in farming cattle across Europe, said: "People are largely not in favour of a cull, and a lot of farmers aren't for it either.

"Culling badgers is not going to have an effect on TB in cattle at all.

"Controlling the disease is more about good husbandry on a farm. Once it is in your herd you have to address other areas such as managing the water supply."

However, there is an opposing viewpoint too.

Eastington farmer Andrew Cozens, who manages 350 cattle, was left unfazed by the results of the poll but believes the public perception of the cull is not realistic.

He said: "Sentiment does not pay the bills sadly. No farmer wants to kill badgers, but we can't afford TB.

"If one of my cows gets TB that's £2,000 gone and I'd be lucky to get three quarters of that back in compensation.

"TB is costing the country £90million a year which could afford a new hospital every single year."

An online government petition against the cull, championed by Queen guitarist Brian May, has grown rapidly with more than 144,000 people signing it in three weeks.

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  • karlgreenf  |  October 13 2012, 2:11PM

    My family is switching to only WELSH milk and dairy products until the English badger cull is called off - apologies to English farmers who are anti-cull; speak to the NFU if you are unhappy with this.

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 8:23PM

    Key TB report condemns weaknesses and fragmented cattle controls: http://tinyurl.com/9dt9qpm

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  • Caz123  |  October 05 2012, 6:59PM

    Fischadler, is correct, a vaccine has been submitted! Leaden Beaurocracy holding it up!!And I am not affiliated with any group!! Just an animal lover fighting for what is right.!! Tomorrow 6th October 2012, National Badger Day, Do whatever you can, to help our wonderful Brock!!! Raise as much awareness to his cause as you can!!!

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 5:21PM

    22% of all new confirmed TB case in cattle are first discovered at slaughterhouses, the animals having come from "TB-free" herds. In some cases, milk from diseased cattle was not kept out of the human food chain.

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 5:03PM

    Sorry I missed som signatories on that letter: Kate McNeil Farmer, Yorkshire Jean and Keith Morgan Farmers, Carmarthenshire Steve Jones Farmer, Gloucestershire Peter Pennington Legh Farmer, Wiltshire Cliff and Maureen Carnell Farmers, Carmarthenshire Chris and Mary Wheeler Farmers, Pembrokeshire Rebecca Hosking Farms for the Future Dr Mark Jones, Vet and Executive Director of Humane Society International Brian Davies, Founder, Network for Animals Sally Hall Bovinetb.co.uk Cattle Vaccination Campaign Lorraine Platt Founder, Blue Badger Dr. Chris Cheeseman Ecologist Dr. Gordon McGlone Chief Executive, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Celia Thomas Farmer and Chair of Pembrokeshire Against the Cull Jeff Hayden Finance Director, Badger Trust Michael Ritchie Rethink Bovine TB Lucy Borde Brock Vaccination Chris Skinner Farmer, conservationist and broadcaster

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 5:01PM

    Following a meeting of interested organisations and individuals initiated by members of the farming industry a Declaration has been put before Owen Patterson the DEFRA Secretary of State. A copy of the letter which I signed on behalf of the Trust has been sent to the press. 3 October 2012 The Letters Editor Daily Mail By email. Bovine TB and Cattle Vaccination While vaccination is the response to most infectious diseases, with cattle and Bovine TB it is the one weapon in the disease management armoury which has yet to be deployed. A vaccine against Bovine TB for cattle (along with the associated DIVA test which differentiates between infected and vaccinated animals) has been developed and is ready to licence, but is held up by regulatory and European legal obstacles. Meanwhile farmers are being misled into believing that cattle vaccination is many years away. Following a meeting of interested organisations and individuals the following Declaration has been put to Owen Patterson the new DEFRA Minister: "Now that a cattle vaccine is ready for licensing, we are convinced that the only way to control bovine TB and hence avoid the devastating and costly current Bovine TB policy is to vaccinate all bovine animals and where necessary wildlife. We therefore call on the Government to take immediate action to eliminate all legal and political obstacles preventing farmers from vaccinating their cattle against Bovine TB. We represent a cross section of scientists, veterinarians, farmers and conservationists concerned about the impact of bovine TB on the farming industry and countryside." We await his response with interest. Yours faithfully Nigel Finch Farmer, Gloucestershire

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 4:48PM

    Farmers there IS a BTB cattle vaccine. Dont believe DEFRA or the government: http://tinyurl.com/8vd3mxo

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  • the_mogul  |  October 05 2012, 4:35PM

    @TimMassenger - I think theres an 'overwhelming' consensus that 98% of your comments on here are complete drivel and should be skimmed over.

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  • fischadler  |  October 05 2012, 3:51PM

    New government data suggest a belated tightening of farming standards may be cutting the spread of the disease, making the badger cull even more nonsensical." http://tinyurl.com/9gg75gx

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  • Freeborn_John  |  October 05 2012, 12:30PM

    IsitJimkerr... I suspect that they flag anything that produces a hole in their argument...

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