16 Oct 2012

Badgers: what a mistake govt are making

Photo sent to be by local constituent of Wallbridge graffiti
Regular blog readers will know locally we have campaigned lots to stop a cull of badgers - nationally too the Green Party have strongly opposed the new badger-cull pilots on the basis of the scientific evidence and significant animal-welfare, public-safety and ethical concerns.

I have to say I've barely been able to write on this topic for sometime - there have been various petitions and more calling on the government to not go down this crazy route but they haven't listened....this is just senseless. I understand farmers distress about TB - indeed have spoken to a number - and vets - TB is a real problem that can devastate farms and livelihoods. However this culling completely disregards the facts and ethical considerations.  The current plan is a dangerous one.
Another pic of graffit

The RBCT report concluded that substantial reductions in the incidence of TB in cattle could be achieved by improving cattle-based control measures.  These measures must be the focus of funding and research, not another culling ‘trial’. Greens and Labour put a motion to Stroud District Council saying no cull on our lands - it was passed - the Forest of Dean have recently followed suit - yet the first licence issued was for Gloucestershire. Bah!

As Caroline Allen Green party spokesperson said: "Whilst the Government has pledged that it will take measures to ensure the cull is carried out humanely and with high regard to animal welfare, the anatomy of the badger means that the method chosen - free shooting - is simply not appropriate, since it carries a very high risk of leaving badgers wounded and in pain.  In addition there is a risk to people of injury and even death from the use of firearms at night to carry out the cull."

Me dressed as a badger in campaign
Caroline added, "Even if there were a better chance of success I don’t believe it is ethically right to be attempting almost to clear an indigenous species from large tracts of our countryside.  Sadly the badger has become the scapegoat for this disease.  I call on the Government and Defra to wake up and show some leadership and deal with other aspects of disease transmission, including cattle-to-cattle transmission.  Then we may start to make some progress against this disease and the distress it causes to farmers and their herds."

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