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NFU president: We will regroup and carry on with badger cull

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

NFU president Peter Kendall

NFU president Peter Kendall

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NFU President Peter Kendall has written to all members following the announcement that the pilot badger cull will be delayed.

He writes: "It is with deep regret and massive disappointment that I have to inform you of the decision to postpone the two pilot badger culls...

"...I appreciate that this news will be a real blow for everyone involved in making this policy work.

"We have really been up against it in terms of timing; there was need to avoid any overlap with the Olympics and Paralympics, which set the start date back right from the start.

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"We were then subject to further delay as a result of the legal challenges by the Badger Trust. On top of this we all know as farmers how awful the weather has been this summer and autumn.

"In addition to the timing issue we have very recently seen a significant increase in the estimates of badger numbers that we would be required to cull. This led us to conclude that if we proceeded under these circumstances we ran a very high risk of falling short of the new higher numbers needed to demonstrate that the policy worked...

"... We will regroup; this is a delay in implementing the policy and not a change of policy. You have my commitment that we will carry on..."

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 1:56PM

    I wish people would stop posting about a subject they haven't got the first ideas about and stop insulting highly qualified veterinary surgeons. In time of War or the like, your veterinary surgeon is qualified to treat the human population. . Your GP is not qualified to treat any animals. Astrophysicists don't know the first thing about medicine or veterinary science.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 1:52PM

    It would be greatly appreciated by all farmers if people would try to become educated to the problem before they make any emotional judgement or comment. Why BCG does not perform like other Vaccines. "In any normal infection the body defence works by production of vast amounts of antibodies. Such antibodies can also be stimulated by ordinary vaccines for all kinds of bacteria and virus diseases and they can be traced in blood which makes diagnosis with various techniques fairly easy. But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do - because the tubercle bacteria have a waxy coat to which antibodies cannot attach. Tuberculosis therefore causes a so called humoral body defence; that means the very slowly multiplying bacteria are attacked by enzymes and white blood cells mainly. These are killing or even digesting the bacteria by a method called phagocytosis resulting in crumbly pus in the so called tubercles - whole heaps or lumps containing several 1000 to billions of bacteria. This defence is much more unspecific and slower than the usual one by antibodies. Any BCG vaccine stimulates this humoral defence only but never prevents an infection; it may keep it on a low scale maybe. There is no other vaccine available and there most probably will never be another one. No matter how many millions more DEFRA invests (I hear of some 30 so far for the Vaccine only) this is nature - which cannot be forced by politics." . . . . . . . . . . Dr Ueli Zellweger MRCVS GST TVL Somerset Dr Ueli Zellweger who is highly respected is a veterinary surgeon with over 30 years experience mainly with cattle and is considered a world expert in this field. Again quote:- "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do.

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  • Jennypenny  |  October 24 2012, 1:09PM

    You've just said that?!! :/ Well Its no good repeating the same old spiel over and over Charles, no one in their right mind is going to believe it or YOU over the eminent Lord Krebs, Professor John Bourne & co. 'I think the most interesting observation was made to me by a senior politician who said, "fine John we accept your science, but we have to offer the farmers a carrot. And the only carrot we can possibly give them is culling badgers".' Professor John Bourne (Chair of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on bTB)

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 10:34AM

    It would be greatly appreciated by all farmers if people would try to become educated to the problem before they make any emotional judgement or comment. Why BCG does not perform like other Vaccines. "In any normal infection the body defence works by production of vast amounts of antibodies. Such antibodies can also be stimulated by ordinary vaccines for all kinds of bacteria and virus diseases and they can be traced in blood which makes diagnosis with various techniques fairly easy. But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do - because the tubercle bacteria have a waxy coat to which antibodies cannot attach. Tuberculosis therefore causes a so called humoral body defence; that means the very slowly multiplying bacteria are attacked by enzymes and white blood cells mainly. These are killing or even digesting the bacteria by a method called phagocytosis resulting in crumbly pus in the so called tubercles - whole heaps or lumps containing several 1000 to billions of bacteria. This defence is much more unspecific and slower than the usual one by antibodies. Any BCG vaccine stimulates this humoral defence only but never prevents an infection; it may keep it on a low scale maybe. There is no other vaccine available and there most probably will never be another one. No matter how many millions more DEFRA invests (I hear of some 30 so far for the Vaccine only) this is nature - which cannot be forced by politics." . . . . . . . . . . Dr Ueli Zellweger MRCVS GST TVL Somerset Dr Ueli Zellweger who is highly respected is a veterinary surgeon with over 30 years experience mainly with cattle and is considered a world expert in this field. Again quote:- "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do."

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  • Jennypenny  |  October 24 2012, 10:12AM

    Even the government themselves say the reduction in bTB is only likely to be 12/16% after NINE yrs of culling, wiping out tens of thousands of mostly healthy badger & still leaving 84% of the problem there!! . Listen to the emminent scientists not some vet. The immune response to TB vaccination is only 50% in us Humans, the immune response in badgers is 73%! Its a no brainers really! unless you really dont like badgers?!!!

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  • Charlespk  |  October 24 2012, 9:47AM

    It would be greatly appreciated by all farmers if people would try to become educated to the problem before they make any emotional judgement or comment. Why BCG does not perform like other Vaccines. "In any normal infection the body defence works by production of vast amounts of antibodies. Such antibodies can also be stimulated by ordinary vaccines for all kinds of bacteria and virus diseases and they can be traced in blood which makes diagnosis with various techniques fairly easy. But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do - because the tubercle bacteria have a waxy coat to which antibodies cannot attach. Tuberculosis therefore causes a so called humoral body defence; that means the very slowly multiplying bacteria are attacked by enzymes and white blood cells mainly. These are killing or even digesting the bacteria by a method called phagocytosis resulting in crumbly pus in the so called tubercles - whole heaps or lumps containing several 1000 to billions of bacteria. This defence is much more unspecific and slower than the usual one by antibodies. Any BCG vaccine stimulates this humoral defence only but never prevents an infection; it may keep it on a low scale maybe. There is no other vaccine available and there most probably will never be another one. No matter how many millions more DEFRA invests (I hear of some 30 so far for the Vaccine only) this is nature - which cannot be forced by politics." . . . . . . . . . . Dr Ueli Zellweger MRCVS GST TVL Somerset Dr Ueli Zellweger who is highly respected is a veterinary surgeon with over 30 years experience mainly with cattle and is considered a world expert in this field. Again quote:- "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do." "But this does not work for Tuberculosis - it never did and it never will do."

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  • Jennypenny  |  October 24 2012, 9:01AM

    What about the tourist industry Mr Kendall?? Do you seriously think holidaymakers will want to visit next summer to be in the middle of a badger cull?????? Most of us who holiday in that area do so for the beautiful countryside & the wildlife!!! Go done the humane route fgs.

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  • Jennypenny  |  October 24 2012, 8:48AM

    Has anyone considered the impact culling in the summer is going to have on the tourist industry? How many holidaymakers are going to want to visit with badger slaughter going on??? If you care at all about the livelihoods of others please push for badger vaccination instead of culling.

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