Stop The Badger Cull

26th Feb 2008: *** News Flash *** …. Kill badgers say MPs.

Update: 25th Feb 2008

The government will finally announce this Wednesday its decision on whether a badger cull will go ahead or not. Hillary Benn indicated to an NFU meeting that apart from scientific analysis on the effectiveness of such a measure he would also take into account public ‘feeling’ on such a move, to boos & jeers from the audience.

Thousands of badgers will be gassed or snared if the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) gets its way. Until the 1980’s, gassing of badger setts was routinely employed as a means of controlling the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB). British farmers and successive UK governments have long believed that TB was spread by badgers and infecting the national dairy herd. Badgers are protected in the UK by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. They may not be killed, nor their setts interfered with, except on license from the government, the only exception being for TB control.

On June 18th, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) published its Final Report, Bovine TB: The Scientific Evidence, after nearly ten years work. In a press release, the ISG stated:

“… no practicable method of badger culling can reduce the incidence of cattle TB to any meaningful extent, and several culling approaches may make matters worse. The ISG also conclude that rigidly applied control measures targeted at cattle can reverse the rising incidence of disease, and halt its geographical spread”.

Despite compelling scientific evidence that badger culling is useless and in some scenarios worse than useless, and we’d be better off controlling TB through the cattle herds, the farming community is still calling for the elimination of badger populations. Although the work of gassing, snaring or shooting would have to be done under licences issued by the government, wildlife groups fear that this will be unpoliceable and result in widespread cruelty and suffering. Gassing is an indiscriminate killing method that affects many other wildlife species.

The Black and White Campaign website has more details on the issues. Please sign their online petition.

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This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Disease, Food & Agriculture, Protest, Rural communities, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Stop The Badger Cull

  1. matt says:

    Done.

    P.S. That looks like a stuffed badger in your photo!

  2. Pete Smith says:

    He will be once the cull starts

  3. matt says:

    Or be part of a ‘badger soap’ in some hyper cool restaurant in SW1.

  4. the Grit says:

    Hi again,

    See, that’s why I like your blog. I didn’t even know y’all had badgers over there, let alone that they carried TB. Good work.

    the Grit

  5. Pete Smith says:

    Hi Grit,

    The Eurasian badger is a different species, although it looks similar. I think yours is having a bad time right now. The fuss about culling our badgers isn’t so much because they’re endangered (some estimates make them as common as foxes), but because they’re cute in a bumbling kind of a way. Not really true of course, they’re robust carnivores that can kill a dog and take a man’s hand off if cornered.

    But I still think they shouldn’t be killed without good reason.

    Pete

  6. Stephan says:

    You’ll be telling me that those country people are holding their women folk under water to check whether they are witches; if they’re not they drown, and if so they’re killed anyway – seems perfectly logical to me, a win-win strategy. Now where’s another hedgerow to pull up, there’s gotta be something in there that can be another scapegoat for poor husbandry practices:)

  7. matt says:

    In rural west Wales I’ve actually met families that very rarely leave their valley. The consequences of inter-breeding over generations has produced some interesting results. It is these people I happened to meet after visiting a local hole-in-the-wall pub. No doubt superstition runs high, on all levels. Government reports are certainly not to be trusted. If they’re managing parts of our countryside as well, badgers don’t have a chance in hell. 🙂

  8. Pete Smith says:

    Rural west Wales? That’s an interesting link. A Hindu community in Llanpumsaint, near Carmarthen, go to court this very day to prevent the slaughter of their sacred bull Shambo, after he tested positive for bovine TB.

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20070712/tuk-britain-religion-hindu-a7ad41d.html

    No badgers were involved.

  9. earthpal says:

    Signed.

    It seems perfectly logical to the dimmest of persons that if thousands and thousands of badgers have been killed over thirty or so years and there has been no reduction in cases of TB then culling is ineffective.

    So what other reason would there be for the NFU to press on for a cull. Are badgers considered a farmers pest?

    Farmers should stop thinking they’re victimised gods and should be made to switch to organic farming.

  10. matt says:

    > No badgers were involved.

    Maybe those farmers like their magic mushrooms for breakfast too much;

    http://dave.zfx.com/Flash/badger.swf

    🙂

  11. the Grit says:

    Hi Pete,

    Ah, foxes. Those are rapidly disappearing in this area. We still have a couple on the farm, but the coyotes will take them out before long. It’s a shame really. The foxes are kind of cute, and do their part to keep the rodent population under control, while not bothering us at all. The coyotes, on the other hand, are getting to the point where they are a danger, not only to the deer, but to small children and the neighborhood dogs. This means that, before long, I will be forced to go out in the dark, with a night vision scope, and shoot some. As I’m not really much of a night person, this is a pain.

    the Grit

  12. matt says:

    Is there a coyote out there called Bush that roams the night? You pop that one and believe me we’ll parade you through the streets of London, no expense spared. 🙂

  13. matt says:

    UPDATE: BADGER CULL DECISION THIS WED [stop] PUBLIC ‘FEELING’ TO BE CONSIDERED [stop]

    The government will finally announce this Wednesday its decision on whether a badger cull will go ahead or not. Hillary Benn indicated to an NFU meeting that apart from scientific analysis on the effectiveness of such a measure he would also take into account public ‘feeling’ on such a move, to boos & jeers from the audience.

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