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Badger cull roll out 'will lose Tories votes' in Middle England, warn Tory group

By TristanCork  |  Posted: May 28, 2014

Comments (20)

The controversial badger cull is ‘despised’ and should be ditched by the Government or it will cost West Tory MPs votes at next election, a group of Conservatives have warned David Cameron.

The ‘Blue Badger’ group of animal rights-supporting Conservatives in Westminster has told the Prime Minister that the Tories could ‘face a backlash of lost votes from Middle England’ if they were to include a roll out of the badger cull in the party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election.

Blue Badger, a parallel organisation to ‘Blue Fox’ are made up of Conservative MPs, candidates and councillors who support the ban on hunting and are against the badger cull trials that took place in west Somerset and the Forest of Dean last autumn.

Their founder, Lorraine Platt, said told ministers that they risked the badger cull being a vote-loser – even in rural Tory seats – and cited a YouGov poll carried out at the height of the badger cull, which said that only six per cent of voters would view a candidate supporting the badger cull ‘more favourably’ because of it.

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The poll showed that almost half of the voters polled said their view of any parliamentary candidate would be altered by their position on badgers, bTB, culling and vaccination – and that more than a third would look on a candidate favourably if they wanted vaccination rather than a cull.

As the Government revealed the cull in Somerset was set to continue later this year, and questions were being asked about the relationship between the police and the cull company during last autumn’s cull, Ms Platt said ministers should be wary of including a badger cull in the Conservative manifesto, because ‘Middle England’ was on the side of the badger.

“The polling is revealing,” she said. “We urge the Government to rethink its plans to continue the cull this summer and the future roll-out free-shooting of badgers in favour of a more sustainable and humane approach to eradicating bovine TB through vaccination.

“The badger cull policy has been highly disparaged by scientists, MPs and the public alike. We advise the party leadership to listen to the scientific evidence against the badger cull and focus on vaccination which is carried out by the Welsh Government instead of culling.

“The General Election is around the corner and the unpopular badger cull policy is loathed with widespread public marches against the cull taking place across the country. There is a perception that the Government is not listening to scientific evidence on the issue but placing the cull in a political context.

“The party leadership already suffers unwelcome criticism for its support for a repeal on the ban on hunting with hounds. It can ill-afford to further enforce a negative image on wildlife issues and dismiss the huge scientific evidence against the culling of a cherished protected species.

“The Conservative leadership should take note as come the General Election, the badger cull policy is a vote loser and may drive Middle England voters away,” she added.

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  • mmjames  |  June 02 2014, 8:33AM

    twigcat | June 02 2014, 12:39AM No, mmjames, it means you are wrong. .............................. It merely means badgerists think I'm wrong so 10:1 I ain't!

    |   -12
  • twigcat  |  June 02 2014, 12:39AM

    No, mmjames, it means you are wrong.

    |   15
  • mmjames  |  June 01 2014, 11:29AM

    Red marks are good - it means I've hit the nail squarely on the head.

    |   -13
  • mmjames  |  May 30 2014, 10:25AM

    William Blake would have known the dangers of leaving Tuberculosis to fester when we know how to help control its spread. You don't need to change so many word of his poem. TB bacteria. burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies. Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat. What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp. Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears And watered heaven with their tears: Did he smile His work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee? TB bacteria burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

    |   -27
  • Humane  |  May 30 2014, 10:01AM

    The Badger (In homage to William Blake, a compassionate man who would have strongly opposed a badger cull - and his magnificent poem 'The Tyger'.) Badger, badger blazing white In the woodlands of the night, What indifferent hand or eye Would take your precious liberty? In what pseudo-science lies 'Proof' that all your kind should die On what grounds dare they acquire The 'right' to slay you in your byre? Wiping out your ancient part In our landscape, like the hart Blaming you for some great feat The rise of TB. How they cheat! Now see the politicians feign, Twist statistics, smear your name Hoodwink farmers, make them gasp The blatant truth, they rasp and rasp Intensive farming through the years Sick animals, worn down by fears Did He who made us want to see You trapped and shot at for a fee? Badger, badger, blazing white In the woodlands of the night What trigger-happy hand or eye Dare take your sacred liberty?

    |   24
  • mmjames  |  May 29 2014, 5:06PM

    barney2 | May 29 2014, 5:01PM First of all they are not dealing with badgers. .................... Excuse me ???????

    |   -21
  • barney2  |  May 29 2014, 5:01PM

    The rest of the wold does not know better. First of all they are not dealing with badgers. Secondly there is no evidence anywhere in the world that proves that killing wildlife solved or even helped to solve the problem and that includes the Republic Of Ireland.

    |   31
  • mmjames  |  May 29 2014, 3:22PM

    Why does the rest of the WORLD know better, barney?

    |   -22
  • barney2  |  May 29 2014, 1:49PM

    mmjames That's just minority opinion. our scientific experts tell us that culling badger can make no meaningful contribution to controlling Tb in cattle and that it is not worth the cost involved but some think they know better.

    |   24
  • mmjames  |  May 29 2014, 11:59AM

    But the bit the Badger Trust and their assorted followers missed, is near the end: Measures to prevent re-infection from other sources focus on the risk presented by wildlife (badgers). The CA maintains that the delay in implementing the proposed wildlife controls (i.e. a managed cull of badgers), which is a significant element of the approved eradication programme, remains the major obstacle to progress.

    |   -30