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The Badger Trust criticises Defra over pilot cull

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

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Wildlife campaigners say the Government’s green-light for pilot badger culls in the Westcountry signals failure to combat tuberculosis spreading to cattle.

Natural England has licensed six-week pilot culls in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire to determine if shooting badgers is safe and humane and reduces the incidence of TB in livestock.

Earlier this week at the Conservative party conference the newly-appointed Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said vaccinating badgers was unworkable in the short-term despite £15.5 million being spent on research.

However, the Badger Trust says environment ministers and their departmental aides are “quick to cherry-pick bits of science that appear to support their case” and the public is being deliberately misled.

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Jack Reedy, spokesman for the charity, said: “The Coalition remains silent and evasive on the real issue: cattle management, and their own continuing abject failure to impose, through Defra, the kind of tough, effective, long-term remedial measures spelt out by independent scientists, following ten years of peer-reviewed research.

“If – and it’s a big if – the proposed night-time rifle-fire slaughter of tens of thousands of an iconic and protected animal goes ahead, the Government forecasts only a 12 to 16% drop over nine years in bovine TB in cattle.

“Self-evidently that means bovine TB won’t be solved.

“Self evidently that can only mean that cattle are the main vectors and that the bulk of the problem – that untouched 84% – is being ignored or unreasonably delayed. Ministers protest loud and long that something must be done to control this highly infectious respiratory disease. But the blame for inaction lies squarely with them.

“They appeal for calm; they protest that culling is unavoidable. But when it comes to tackling the root causes of the disease they fail the farming community, the public – who are forced to pay farmers a huge annual compensation bill – and of, course, wildlife.”

NFU South West spokesman Ian Johnson said tens of thousands of cattle were slaughtered every year because of the disease.

He said: “The Badger Trust appears not to want to accept we have a disease that is carried by more than one species and if we don’t deal with it as a whole the countryside will never be rid of it. Cattle are routinely subjected to draconian movement control and testing and all to no avail.

“Badgers excrete bacilli in their urine and sputum across fields and are not subjected to testing.” Mr Johnson said vaccination was not a viable option yet and badgers were not an endangered species.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 10:19PM

    Clued-up, I am in no rush, I am sure like me you have other things to be doing. I am supposed to be researching and reporting on "Green Energy" today but, as per, I have got a bit waylaid with these black and white mammals. Just as well I have don't need the report in tomorrow otherwise I should be up all night, which is not unusual. :(( I would however be most appreciative for your links to these %'s on the badger cull. I will say that a quick survey was done in London. 2 average sized streets were questioned about the cull and I am sorry to say that the % rate for the anti-cull was minimal, less than 5% to be exact. Most of the people in the streets didn't even know what was meant by a badger cull which was a bit depressing.

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  • Clued-Up  |  October 14 2012, 9:59PM

    @2ladybugs Will come back to you as and when I re-locate the relevant DEFRA and other reports ... however," Oxford Mail" (9 Oct 2012) reported 97% of respondents to the cull poll were against the cull. The "Guardian" article 28 Feb 2012 "Badger Cull Battle Begins In Both Courts Of Law And Public Opinion" quotes only 12% public supporting the badger cull.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 8:39PM

    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% who are they kidding......... apart from themselves.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 14 2012, 8:05PM

    Clued-Up thinks giving me and other people multiple Red Arrows makes him intelligent! :)))) http://tinyurl.com/yhtwej

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  • Charlespk  |  October 14 2012, 6:42PM

    I'm not arguing with you. You haven't a clue. Watch this video and TRY AND LEARN SOMETHING. . Listen to Dr John Gallagher, a veterinary pathologist. . http://tinyurl.com/66l9ud9 (OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW)

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 5:26PM

    Clued-up....Not good enough. There are several hundred reports from DEFRA on this subject. If you are using their figures then you must have that report to hand. Kindly prove to us via the link you are using. What is it you say???? I prefer to argue on evidence. Not clued-up sounds more appropriate.

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  • Clued-Up  |  October 14 2012, 4:39PM

    @Charlespk I prefer to argue on evidence.

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  • Clued-Up  |  October 14 2012, 4:28PM

    "@2ladybugs "A petition signed by 150k whilst admirable is hardly 96% of 56 + million of the population of just England and Wales alone.... 96% of the public is an impossibility and anybody with any sense would know that" You're missing the point - quite deliberately, I'm sure!! As any marketeer or political journalist would tell you, there's never been an instance where the WHOLE population of any entire country has given its opinion on ANYTHING. Voting in general elections may involve less than 40% electorate, for example. If you want to find out "what the public thinks" on any matter, you have to rely on sampling their opinion. The most valid and reliable evidence for "what the public thinks" comes from properly-designed surveys produced by professional pollsters and market researchers; but other samples of public opinion can be useful and suggestive. The e-petition itself is a useful and suggestive test of public opinion rather than a professionally designed poll of public opinion. The e-petition grew very fast (2nd fastest growing e-petition in the history of UK e-petitions?) and is attracting far higher numbers of signatures than other e-petitions. The speed of the growth of this e-petition and the huge numbers signing it indicate the very strong feeling in the country against the badger cull. Parliament has decided that any e-petition attracting over 100,000 signatures should be debated in the House of Commons. The e-petition against the badger cull has already attracted 154,000 signatures. The 96% public against the cull is quoted in one of the DEFRA reports and several other reports of polls. Please look them up."

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 14 2012, 10:00AM

    Come, come Clued-up we are all still awaiting proof of these percentages you keep putting in your comments across the Ti sites. 96% of the public is an impossibility and anybody with any sense would know that. This is the third or fourth time of asking for your proof to these figures. A petition signed by 150k whilst admirable is hardly 96% of 56 + million of the population of just England and Wales alone. I am all for anti cull people putting sensible comments on these sites to help people decide for themselves about this problem but, putting what quite frankly is a load of b******t, to try and win people's votes is crass to say in the least." Clued-up you most definitely are not. If I were you I would change that name.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 14 2012, 9:48AM

    Don't worry about the number of Red Arrows. The more the merrier! . Keep them coming. What's the highest number you've ever posted on your own. My highest score is 666! I just consider them a mark of my rank and superior intellect when discussing these matters with badgerists.

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