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Farmers have been 'stabbed in the back' over badger cull delay

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger

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Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has condemned the coalition for its ‘pathetic’ decision to delay the badger cull.

He says the 11th-hour postponement is going to condemn thousands more cattle to death and cause misery for farmers.

One of the trial culls was due to take place on the Brendon Hills in Mr Liddell-Grainger’s Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency.

He says farmers there will be livid that they will have to live with the threat of their livestock being infected by TB-carrying badgers for at least another six months.

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“I can’t begin to comprehend what sort of a shambles at ministerial level has led to this, but it’s clearly a monumental one,” he said. “It’s absolutely pathetic the cull can’t go ahead despite all the preparatory work that had been done.

“This has been on the Government’s agenda for two years. Jim Paice [the former agriculture minister] put in huge amounts of work on this to make sure it was all above board and legally bomb-proof.

“But now we’ve a Liberal Democrat farming minister and at the last minute he’s reneged. It’s totally disgraceful. He’s stabbed farmers in the back.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger said he was astonished at the grounds advanced by the NFU for agreeing to the postponement, which included delays caused by the Olympics, weather, the legal challenge by pro-badger groups – and the results of the latest survey which indicated greater populations of badgers in the two trial areas – the other is in Gloucestershire – than had been expected.

He said: “The survey should have been carried out much earlier so the culling could be of the right scale. And the second is that there’s no need for any survey anyway because you only need to speak to any farmer in the culling zones and they’ll tell you they’re completely overrun by badgers.

"This is nothing less than another 24-carat cock-up by a department whose name now only brings the words ‘organise’ and ‘brewery’ to mind.”

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 24 2012, 10:34PM

    Good grief......I shouldn't have had that last brandy, I am sure you just said you have given me a green %{{{{~~~~~~~

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  • eyeopener  |  October 24 2012, 10:25PM

    @2ladybugs Is this a FIRST? I have just felt compelled to give you a green arrow!

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  • eyeopener  |  October 24 2012, 10:13PM

    @2ladybugs "ps...... the way that the number of badgers is estimated is laughable. It's a bit like saying "how long is a piece of string"!!!!!!!" Thats pretty much what Lord Krebs has been saying all along. Calling the cull 'scientific' is a complete misnomer.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 24 2012, 10:03PM

    ps...... the way that the number of badgers is estimated is laughable. It's a bit like saying "how long is a piece of string"!!!!!!!

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 24 2012, 10:01PM

    @ eyeopener was it the NFU..........? or was it DEFRA...........?

  • eyeopener  |  October 24 2012, 9:29PM

    Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger clearly hasn't heard of the NFU or Natural England or Lord Krebs or maybe he is just putting an anti lib-dem spin spin on this to deflect attention away from the Tories. Extract from Hansard: "Lord Krebs speaking in House of Lords Yesterday" Quote: "The number, thanks to rapid badger reproduction over the weekend, is now 5,530 over the two areas-a fourfold increase. I am impressed." Whatever else he may be accused of Lord Krebs cannot be accused of lacking wit! Lord Krebs said that "It was the NFU that backed out, it is because it was due to pay those who were going to shoot the badgers on a per-badger basis. The NFU calculated it on the basis of shooting 1,300 badgers. Suddenly it is told, "It's 5,500 badgers". The farmers thought it was worth doing-but not that much. They have done their own cost-benefit calculation and say that it is not worth the candle." Apart from there cost issues, double the number of badgers meant double the number to be killed and the NFU doubted that the cull could be completed within the timescale that the Natural England cull licence allowed. In other words if anyone betrayed farmers it was the NFU in a manner reminiscent of that nursery rhyme Oh, the grand old Duke of York, He had ten thousand men, He marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 8:15PM

    And you have included a lot of rubbish in your diatribe. Most lesions are found in udders which are discarded. . Dairy products are pasteurised. Clinically sick animals do not enter the food chain. Cooking kills bacteria. That does mean we can just ignore M.bovis if that is what you are trying to suggest.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 8:05PM

    Below by Dr John Gallagher, a veterinary pathologist since 1972.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 8:03PM

    It doesn't mean they are not either carrying or infective. . The reactors wouldn't 'react' if they hadn't met the disease at some point. . Badgers aren't tested at all. Read this and start learning. I can't explain it all in a few lines. THE NATURE OF TB IN BADGERS 1.Tuberculosis has a different manifestation in most species . In the badger it is fundamentally different from TB in cattle essentially due to the lack of development of a hypersensitivity response which is a prime feature of infection in cattle. Thus small numbers of organisms infecting cattle produce a vigorous cellular response which results in extensive cell death and the development of large cold abscesses in the affected tissues usually the lung and respiratory lymph nodes . This is in fact the host immune reaction to TB. Whilst causing disease and disruption to the affected organs the changes inside these abscesses strongly inhibit the TB bacteria and kill many of them. The badger does not show such a vigorous destructive reaction but rather a slowly progressive proliferative reaction which eventually results in cell death as numbers of bacteria increase markedly. TB lesions are thus relatively much smaller but contain relatively vastly more bacteria than those of cattle. TB bacteria do not produce toxins but rather cause lesions as a result of their highly antigenic cell walls to which different hosts may respond with greater or lesser aggression. PROGRESSION OF INFECTION 2. Once a badger develops disease all the members of that social group are likely to become infected due to the confined living space in their underground tunnel systems, their highly gregarious nature and constant mutual grooming. But that seed of infection (the primary focus ) will usually only progress to produce disease and eventually death in a minority of cases. Latency is a feature of TB in many species and this is so in badgers and cattle. The bulk of infections in badgers, usually 70% or more will become latent or dormant. A small number of badgers may resolve the infection completely and self cure. But the latent infections remain fully viable and may breakdown under stress which may be of nutritional origin, intercurrent disease, senile deterioration or social disturbance and disruption. Some badgers may develop fulminating disease (Gallagher et al 1998). Badgers with terminal generalised tuberculosis can excrete vast numbers of bacteria particularly when the kidneys are infected. Counts of several million bacteria in a full urination have been recorded (Gallagher and Clifton-Hadley, 2000). When infection is acquired by a bite wound from the contaminated mouth of another badger, the bacteria are Inoculated either deeply subcutaneously or intramuscularly and rapid generalisation of infection usually occurs, causing progression to severe and often fatal tuberculosis which may develop in a matter of several months (Gallagher and Nelson, 1979). Respiratory origin infections have a longer duration and cases in an endemically infected population (Woodchester) have been monitored showing intermittent excretion of infection for a year, with the longest recorded case excreting for almost three years before death. The above ground mortality due to TB is estimated as about 2% of the population per annum. Thus in the South West alone with its now extensive endemically infected areas the annual deaths due to TB will be of the order of at least 1000 to 2000. Tuberculosis has an unfettered progress in the badger population and the cycle of infection and disease in the badger has long been known to be self sustaining (Zuckerman 1980). Over time the badger has become well adapted as a primary reservoir host of bovine TB infection.

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  • badgerhugger  |  October 24 2012, 7:51PM

    Thanks for not answering any of the points Charles.