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Derek Mead Badger huggers do more harm than good

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 15, 2012

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It's worth reminding ourselves what the letters RSPCA stand for. It's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – which under the current circumstances is rather misleading.

Because the society's decision to throw in its lot with the badger-huggers certainly is not preventing animals suffering. Quite the opposite. Its attempts to thwart the badger cull have ensured that thousands of badgers suffering from TB have died a slow and agonising death from its effects rather than being put out of their misery very rapidly indeed. Of course, the society is just using the plight of the badger as another shroud to wave, another device to persuade the public to hand over cash to keep it running.

It's realised the public is woefully misinformed about the true situation as regards TB and farmers and is exploiting that ignorance to the full.

Presenting vaccination as a workable alternative to culling is a cynical deception designed to crank up even more support from the populace when, as even they must realise, vaccination isn't going to solve the problem for years, if at all.

It conveniently overlooks the fact that it's pointless vaccinating a badger which already has TB and that there is no possibility that anyone can round up all the uninfected badgers and vaccinate them, which is the only way that system is going to work.

There is no doubt in my mind and those of many other farmers that the cull as proposed is a flawed solution. It's going to result in the deaths of healthy as well as sick badgers, and no-one wants that.

On the other hand, we have to make a start clearing up the mess bequeathed to us by years of scientific squabbling, pointless and aborted trials and sheer procrastination by Labour politicians.

There are other remedies and they deserve a trial too –indeed, I see Michael Seals, chairman of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, is calling for other methods of controlling transmission to be suggested.

Unfortunately, Mr Seals is only a Defra puppet and unless the new man at the department, Owen Paterson, has started to shake up his civil servants, there is precious little chance of any alternative ever being seriously considered on past form.

Defra understands as little about farming as do Brian May and Bill Oddie. There's no evidence it or they realise the severity of the problem or the probability, if we don't start fire fighting now, that there won't be any livestock left to protect in a very few years' time.

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  • dodgethebulle  |  September 17 2012, 9:14AM

    Independent scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas. To hear the facts, press play on the video below If you want the government to make the sensible choice. Sign the Petition http://tinyurl.com/9ndb3ty http://tinyurl.com/9lmonj3

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  • dodgethebulle  |  September 16 2012, 4:55PM

    Badger culling is "ineffective", the expert behind the UK's biggest review of the links between badgers and tuberculosis in cattle, said on Monday. Professor Lord John Krebs was the government adviser responsible for the scientific review in the 1990s which found that badgers were a "reservoir" of bovine TB and could transmit the disease to cattle. He called for trial culls, which were then carried out. But he said on Monday the results of the trials showed that culling was "not an effective policy" and would be a mistake." http://tinyurl.com/69sqykf We need 100,000 people to sign now. Please share, tell your friends and sign. We need your help. There are 65,000 people who reach 1.5m friends so please share and sign NOW http://tinyurl.com/8odb3eg https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257/signature/new

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  • BroBo  |  September 16 2012, 11:01AM

    We all know you cannot vaccinate cattle due to EU regulations. This is all down to purely the export of live cattle to other EU countries. Upholding a very small trade of about £2,000,000 to the country while spending millions in related costs due to the ENDEMIC bTB in the cattle population. Any other industry would be called to account with the economics involved. The bTB is being tackled the completely wrong way. Tb in whatever form is a disease of poverty of some kind. Malnourishment in the victim. History has shown this was the case in the human population and it is showing up in the cattle population now. The increase in bTB over the years has come about with the prevalence of the Holstein/Fresian hybrid. An animal that produces milk at such a rate it leaves very little for the health of the animal itself. Malnourishment sets in. This has been shown to be the case in Africa where they too use the H/F hybrid and have an epidemic of TB. But many are moving back to the old Zebu hardy cattle that are much stronger and at less risk from TB. Proving it is the cattle type that is also to blame. But is this ever cited? Why not? Milk economics. But it is far easier to put head into sand and take the route of blaming an outside source, the badger, rather than get to the real crux of the matter. Farming practices need to change.

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  • Imakemilk  |  September 15 2012, 9:49PM

    You can't vaccinate Dairy cattle , it's illegal. Speak to the EU. Also starting to despair about the totally blinkered view on badger cull. Don't you dare say that farmers have no regard for life be it badger or cow. We are fortunate enough to live side by side with nature. Disease in any form needs control. Culling infected cows is not enough when tb is free to walk around in the wildlife. If this had been handled properly 20-30 years ago it would be well under control by now. People are too gutless to accept the truth. They've obviously never seen a badger suffering with tb or an unborn calf wriggling around inside it's recently destroyed mother. Animals are suffering on all sides in a pointless mire of delay. Grow some and get on with finding a solution. The cow in question was clear of tb by the way.

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  • fischadler  |  September 15 2012, 9:30PM

    This is complete and utter rubbish. Even before RSPCA entered the debate there were 80% of the population against the cull. DEFRA and the farmers cant keep pretending that this cull is justified when they clearly know that it is not. Time to wake up and stop burying your heads in the sand. RSPCA and other organizations are standing up for our native wildlife while the government clearly wants to slaughter it.

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  • BroBo  |  September 15 2012, 7:00PM

    What a load of rubbish. You kill 70% of a population to control around 2% that are so say suffering from a disease. That is the proposal under the badger culling. Don't try and make out there is any thought for the badger. The most sensible proposal is to vaccinate the cattle themselves. They are the main cause for spreading bTB (80% of bTB spread is recognised officially as cattle to cattle transmission). Who but the daftest would not consider this the most obvious solution!!

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  • dodgethebulle  |  September 15 2012, 5:25PM

    This article was written by a paid either the nfu or defra. Do you really think the rspca takes the decision to back such a cause lightly?

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