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'Intimidation' of badger cull farmers has begun

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

Farmer Jan Rowe is a nominal director of GlosCon, a company set up to carry out the cull, although his farm is not involved

Farmer Jan Rowe is a nominal director of GlosCon, a company set up to carry out the cull, although his farm is not involved

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The threats facing farmers involved in the pending trial cull of badgers were demonstrated yesterday after animal rights extremists were accused of targeting some with letters, e-mails and text messages.

The trial cull in West Gloucestershire has already been licensed while the shooting in West Somerset is expected to be given the go ahead in the coming days.

As the start date for the shooting nears, some farmers have already been targeted by activists.

Jan Rowe, a 67-year-old dairy farmer in the Cotswolds, is a nominal director of GlosCon, a company set up to carry out the cull, although his farm is not involved.

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He said police had been called a number of times to collect evidence and were regularly checking up on the farm.

“It is veiled threats to make you feel worried,” he said. “‘Watch out for your family, we know where you live’, and threatening to demonstrate on the farm. It is unsettling.

“The grandchildren come and stay — one is worried for family and other people living on the farm.”

He added: “I have seen more police cars coming down the lane this week than in the last ten years.

“Any extra cost to the taxpayer is down to protesters taking up police time. All the farmers are doing is carrying out a legal operation.”

The pilot scheme has faced major opposition with challenges in the courts and now the threat of direct action.

Last week, the RSPCA called on consumers to boycott milk from cull areas saying the products would be “soaked in badgers’ blood”.

Gavin Grant, the chief executive of the RSPCA, also called on tourists to avoid cull areas claiming that landowners should be made to feel the “commercial consequences” of allowing the cull on their land.

Ian Johnson, spokesman for the National Farmers’ Union in the South West, condemned the threats to farmers as “totally misguided, irresponsible and stupid”.

It has also emerged the Crown Estate is to allow a pilot badger cull to take place on some of its West Somerset land.

It is understood that it legal issues concerning this that has delayed the Somerset trial cull. A Crown Estate spokesman said it was working with Natural England to provide access. He said: “The Crown Estate recognises that bovine TB is a major problem for farmers, including our tenants, and is co-operating with Natural England to allow access to our land for the pilot schemes.”

Meanwhile Exmoor National Park Authority has firmly rejected calls from the League Against Cruel Sports to curtail game shooting on the moor.

Chief executive of the Animal Welfare group Joe Duckworth has written to the park authority chairman John Dyke to express “dismay” at the growth of commercial pheasant shooting on Exmoor – just a week before the start of the pheasant shooting season.

But the move backfired when the National Park hit back with statistics showing the value of game shooting to the moorland economy.

A spokeswoman said: “I don’t think people on Exmoor would thank us for trying to do anything to reduce the amount of game shooting, even if we could.

“It earns a great deal of money for Exmoor – £22 million a year in 2006 when a survey was carried out and a good deal more now – and brings visitors here at a time of year when there are very few tourists.y.”

The league complain in its letter that health and safety is compromised with birds driven over roads to the guns and that the night shooting of foxes and other animals by gamekeepers is “an accident waiting to happen.”

Mr Duckworth also alleges that the release of thousands of pheasants into the woods on shooting estates “changes the composition and character of the woods.”

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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 9:20PM

    Badgerists are not 'experts'. OBVIOUSLY!! . Badgerists are mainly anthropomorphisists who believe that badgers have more right to life than any other mammal and completely ignore the FACT that this problem was almost completely resolved once, as it has been in all other developed countries, by culling and controlling any species in the wild where the disease is self-sustaining, and of course culling any reactor cattle. (which our farmers have been doing relentlessly) Of course a cull will eventually resolve the bTB issue again, though it is bound to take a lot longer this time; when those responsible for the delay will be held to account; which is of course what they are now all now afraid of. "How are Badgers implicated?" "1971 TB was found in badgers for the first time when bTB had been eliminated in cattle by rigorous testing and slaughter regime over most of the UK, but remained in a few areas in the South West. A badger culling trial around Thornbury (Nr.Bristol), Hartland Devon) and Steeple Leaze (Dorset) proved that badgers were spreading TB. 1975-1981 In heavily infected areas, in the South West, bTB was cleared by culling both infected cattle and infected badgers. Early 1980s bTB was almost eradicated from the UK. Only 100 new outbreaks were being recorded and in 1984 only 400 cattle were slaughtered. 1981 The Zuckerman Report stated that badgers were a source of TB and culling was necessary. However, gassing in the sett (underground home) with cyanide, then used, was banned as it was thought to be inhumane. Many experts believe that if gassing been allowed for two more years bTB would have been eradicated. Many more badgers have been infected with bTB since gassing stopped, and they suffer a slow, painful and distressing death." It's taken 23 years for the Hillsborough families to get justice. . There will be a day of reckoning for this debacle also.

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  • badgeryou  |  September 25 2012, 1:33PM

    Trending petitions.. momentum building http://tinyurl.com/3b2vp85

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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 1:23PM

    Apart from the obviously now very urgent imperative to end the slaughter of thousands of reactor cattle that's causing endless misery for farming families; those of us who care about children, way above their own self-promotion, know that there has to be a badger cull or eventually we'll just have more and more of this. EMAIL SENT/RECEIVED April 2nd. 2006 County Times. Powys, Mid Wales. "Dear Mary, This is winding up into something very nasty. We were told about the problem last autumn, but the newspapers / media had very little on it. Local vets and farmers knew and fed us bits. This (below) was published 30th. March, and our source has now had another conversation with SVS vets and private vets in the area. In the late 1990's just a couple of farms were under bTb restriction, but that has now surged to become 30/40. Dead badgers have been found in the area, including one on school playing fields. This carcass was taken to test for 'poison'. but HSE stepped in and stopped the postmortem - inadequate Group 3 pathogen facilities (?). . It was riddled. SVS sent letters to Welsh Assembly / Page St. and they were lost stolen or strayed. The whole episode was buried. Page St. wanted absolutely no positive Tb badgers. In the last 3/4 years eight or nine children, not including this little one, have had treatment for enlarged neck glands. This involved either a 6 month course of antibiotics, or operations to remove. Classic m.bovis lesions I'm told (by a vet) but referred euphemistically by doctors as "Atypical tuberculosis from a non human source". They are telling these kids, that they picked it up from the ground. The badgers use the school playing fields as latrines, and a newish housing estate borders the same farmland too. We're ignoring those canaries again. (reactor cows)" http://tinyurl.com/9r6ennv It's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Don't you badgerists have any children or pets? . Are you really so callous?

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  • badgeryou  |  September 25 2012, 1:18PM

    The scientist whose research is being cited by the government to justify its plan to cull badgers in England has described the scheme as "crazy". Lord Krebs spoke to BBC News after the government's environment advisory body Natural England has issued a culling licence to a consortium of landowners in Gloucestershire. But the scientist who carried out the study has told BBC News that these pilot studies make no sense. Lord Krebs, who is one of the government's most respected scientific advisers, said that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is administering the scheme, has no way of knowing how many badgers there are in the area, so will not know when they've killed 70% of the badgers in the area. "I would go down the vaccination and biosecurity route rather than this crazy scheme that may deliver very small advantage, may deliver none. And it's very hard to see how Defra are going to collect the crucial data to assess whether it's worth going ahead with free shooting at all," he said.

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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 1:17PM

    Apart from the obviously now very urgent imperative to end the slaughter of thousands of reactor cattle that's causing endless misery for farming families; those of us who care about children, way above their own self-promotion, know that there has to be a badger cull or eventually we'll just have more and more of this. EMAIL SENT/RECEIVED April 2nd. 2006 County Times. Powys, Mid Wales. "Dear Mary, This is winding up into something very nasty. We were told about the problem last autumn, but the newspapers / media had very little on it. Local vets and farmers knew and fed us bits. This (below) was published 30th. March, and our source has now had another conversation with SVS vets and private vets in the area. In the late 1990's just a couple of farms were under bTb restriction, but that has now surged to become 30/40. Dead badgers have been found in the area, including one on school playing fields. This carcass was taken to test for 'poison'. but HSE stepped in and stopped the postmortem - inadequate Group 3 pathogen facilities (?). . It was riddled. SVS sent letters to Welsh Assembly / Page St. and they were lost stolen or strayed. The whole episode was buried. Page St. wanted absolutely no positive Tb badgers. In the last 3/4 years eight or nine children, not including this little one, have had treatment for enlarged neck glands. This involved either a 6 month course of antibiotics, or operations to remove. Classic m.bovis lesions I'm told (by a vet) but referred euphemistically by doctors as "Atypical tuberculosis from a non human source". They are telling these kids, that they picked it up from the ground. The badgers use the school playing fields as latrines, and a newish housing estate borders the same farmland too. We're ignoring those canaries again. (reactor cows)" http://tinyurl.com/9r6ennv It's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Don't you badgerists have any children or pets? . Are you really so callous?

    Rate   5
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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 1:02PM

    Apart from the obviously now very urgent imperative to end the slaughter of thousands of reactor cattle that's causing endless misery for farming families; those of us who care about children, way above their own self-promotion, know that there has to be a badger cull or eventually we'll just have more and more of this. EMAIL SENT/RECEIVED April 2nd. 2006 County Times. Powys, Mid Wales. "Dear Mary, This is winding up into something very nasty. We were told about the problem last autumn, but the newspapers / media had very little on it. Local vets and farmers knew and fed us bits. This (below) was published 30th. March, and our source has now had another conversation with SVS vets and private vets in the area. In the late 1990's just a couple of farms were under bTb restriction, but that has now surged to become 30/40. Dead badgers have been found in the area, including one on school playing fields. This carcass was taken to test for 'poison'. but HSE stepped in and stopped the postmortem - inadequate Group 3 pathogen facilities (?). . It was riddled. SVS sent letters to Welsh Assembly / Page St. and they were lost stolen or strayed. The whole episode was buried. Page St. wanted absolutely no positive Tb badgers. In the last 3/4 years eight or nine children, not including this little one, have had treatment for enlarged neck glands. This involved either a 6 month course of antibiotics, or operations to remove. Classic m.bovis lesions I'm told (by a vet) but referred euphemistically by doctors as "Atypical tuberculosis from a non human source". They are telling these kids, that they picked it up from the ground. The badgers use the school playing fields as latrines, and a newish housing estate borders the same farmland too. We're ignoring those canaries again. (reactor cows)" http://tinyurl.com/9r6ennv It's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Don't you badgerists have any children or pets? . Are you really so callous?

    Rate   -25
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  • badgeryou  |  September 25 2012, 12:57PM

    Badger cull in the interests of no one. Once again a British government has chosen to seek the best possible scientific advice and then ignore it! The licensed killing of badgers in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset could achieve a number of things. It could further advertise the unwelcome existence of bovine tuberculosis in British dairy herds. It could polarise opinion in the countryside and unite political opposition everywhere else. It could cost the farmers involved more than they could gain. It will almost certainly provoke active protest and put even more pressure on already hard-pressed police forces. What it will almost certainly not do is limit bovine tuberculosis, even in the target zones of Gloucestershire and Somerset. It might be helpful to list those things that are certain. Human tuberculosis is a dangerous disease. Bovine tuberculosis is a real problem for dairy farmers – who in any case have been paid too little for their milk and who have been going out of business for decades – and the disease lives on in the wild badger population. But by 1996, a policy of identification and slaughter had reduced the incidence of bovine TB in dairy herds in England and Wales to less than half a per cent, and the risk of direct transmission to humans has – with the pasteurisation of milk – long ago become negligible. The last and most systematic examination of the link between badgers and bovine TB found that, indeed, there was transmission, and proposed a series of systematic, randomised controlled trials over a sustained period to see whether culling could provide an answer. In 2003, the government, farmers, public health officers and wildlife campaigners got the answer: shooting and gassing did not eliminate, and could possibly spread, the disease. That may be because badgers disturbed in one area could migrate, taking the infection with them. The answer, delivered by Lord Krebs and the distinguished statisticians and zoologists who examined the results, could hardly be clearer: killing will not solve the problem. Lord Krebs's scientific credentials are not in doubt. He was trusted by successive British governments to head the Natural Environment Research Council, and to chair the Food Standards Agency. And he has just described the latest plan as a "crazy scheme". http://tinyurl.com/bvjp9rv

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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 12:50PM

    Apart from the obviously now very urgent imperative to end the slaughter of thousands of reactor cattle that's causing endless misery for farming families; those of us who care about children, way above their own self-promotion, know that there has to be a badger cull or eventually we'll just have more and more of this. EMAIL SENT/RECEIVED April 2nd. 2006 County Times. Powys, Mid Wales. "Dear Mary, This is winding up into something very nasty. We were told about the problem last autumn, but the newspapers / media had very little on it. Local vets and farmers knew and fed us bits. This (below) was published 30th. March, and our source has now had another conversation with SVS vets and private vets in the area. In the late 1990's just a couple of farms were under bTb restriction, but that has now surged to become 30/40. Dead badgers have been found in the area, including one on school playing fields. This carcass was taken to test for 'poison'. but HSE stepped in and stopped the postmortem - inadequate Group 3 pathogen facilities (?). . It was riddled. SVS sent letters to Welsh Assembly / Page St. and they were lost stolen or strayed. The whole episode was buried. Page St. wanted absolutely no positive Tb badgers. In the last 3/4 years eight or nine children, not including this little one, have had treatment for enlarged neck glands. This involved either a 6 month course of antibiotics, or operations to remove. Classic m.bovis lesions I'm told (by a vet) but referred euphemistically by doctors as "Atypical tuberculosis from a non human source". They are telling these kids, that they picked it up from the ground. The badgers use the school playing fields as latrines, and a newish housing estate borders the same farmland too. We're ignoring those canaries again. (reactor cows)" http://tinyurl.com/9r6ennv It's time to wake up and smell the coffee. Don't you badgerists have any children or pets? . Are you really so callous?

    Rate   -36
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  • Charlespk  |  September 25 2012, 12:46PM

    I always judge badgerists by the company they keep. Nice people. http://tinyurl.com/9junlq5 (open in a new window)

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  • badgeryou  |  September 25 2012, 12:45PM

    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 now have 100,000 signatures please help make it 200,000. Please share, tell your friends and sign. We need your help. http://tinyurl.com/bvjp9rv

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