Badger cull ineffective and with health & safety issues!

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has given the go-ahead for badgers to be shot in the two pilot areas of west Somerset and west Gloucestershire, for a six-week period…

But the shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, said that 250,000 people … including many eminent scientists, were opposing the cull…

Creagh says: “The government’s own analysis says that it will cost more than it saves, put a huge strain on police given the expected protests, and will spread bovine TB in the short term as badgers are disrupted by the shooting.”

Creagh said that Labour’s £50m badger culling trial over 10 years had established that repeated culls were expensive and did not bring about sustained, long-term, reductions in the incidence of bovine TB.

via Badger cull go-ahead flies in the face of scientific evidence, says Labour | Environment | The Guardian.

Absolutely ridiculous stuff from the government. The evidence says a badger cull does not work, yet they go ahead regardless. At least, the opposition are actually opposing for once. That’s something. And they are basing their opposition on facts too. Amazing for politicians.

Badger cull protest
Brian May on a badger cull protest

There are in fact 266000 signatures on the anti badger cull e-petition now. So why not join them and pressure the current idiots in power to do something sensible. Stop the badger cull now.

The Anti- badger cull petition was started by Brian May and is still running. It’s not too late…

Click through to the Gov e-petition site NOW!

Protestors to stop badger cull through health and safety means

Farmers have permission to go out and shoot as many as 80 badgers a night… protesters have vowed to stop the cull simply by making themselves present in areas where shooting is going on, so that marksmen are unable to continue under health and safety laws.

Stop the Cull, the group representing a loose affiliation of hunt saboteur groups from around the country, claim that up to 300 people will be “patrolling” both areas in order to find evidence of badger shooting.

via Protesters vow to use health and safety to stop badger cull – Telegraph.

There is an injunction protecting farmers from protesters, thereby allowing them to cull badgers freely. But as the sets are close to rambling routes, protesters can pretend to be ramblers and be a health and safety issue at the same time. Sneaky but hopefully effective.

Badger cull early skirmish success…

The Guardian reports that protesters have won the early skirmishes despite suffering the first arrest. An anonymous saboteur said that farmers had been laying bait for the imminent badger cull for five days in advance.

“They have been burying peanuts near the entrance to setts to encourage badgers to come out, and also laying barbed wire traps. We have been going out disrupting them, removing the traps and digging up the bait,” he said.

and

“We know that we will not be able to save all the badgers but we are going to make it a lot harder than it should have been.”

and concerning the injunction

“We will not be allowed to make much noise but in our experience it doesn’t need loud sounds to scare badgers away. They are scared by a twig breaking,” said a saboteur.

The first arrest was made on Monday when Jay Tiernan, a protester, was caught allegedly trying to enter Defra’s Food and Environment Research Agency at Ashton Down in Gloucestershire, where cages for the cull are being kept.

And interestingly, many of the badger cull protesters are the antithesis of the stereotypical hairy vegan hippy, it would seem.

Dominic Dyer, a policy adviser at Care for the Wild, said: “People are shocked when they find out that only 15% of badgers have TB and that the government will not even be testing to see any of the badgers they intend to kill have [the disease]. These two facts together completely undermine the cull policy.

“We are seeing a political kneejerk reaction to a problem. It is liable to backfire on the government and the NFU. People are outraged.”

He added: “Most of the people protesting are entirely peaceful. These are the middle classes, people from the Rotary club, the WI , district councillors, they are Tories.”

via Badger cull: protesters claim success in opening battles | Environment | The Guardian.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson seems to think the cull is necessary and you can watch the waffle on Sky news if you so desire. But it would seem that his reasoning is suspect as Labour have said. This report on Bad Science discusses the findings of the culling study which does not provide support for the efficacy of the badger cull intervention.

An interesting comment on the Bad Science post questions whether the control of bovine TB is necessary at all.

why bother trying to control bovine TB? It is not a risk to human health, with universal pasteurisation of milk and diary products. The number of TB cases attributable to a bovine source and contracted in the UK is vanishingly small (probably less than 20 cases over the last couple of decades). Unlike foot and mouth disease it doesn’t cause an economic loss to farmers (it is the control measures that causes the loss); it isn’t a problem with animal welfare (except for badgers!) as cattle are culled before they become symptomatic, either for beef or because of age related milk production decline.

The only remaining rationale is we would be prevented from exporting live animals (at a total loss of around £2million per year) yet we would be saving nearly £100 million by abandoning the intensive control measures we have.

What futile waste of money. Bovine TB should be treated like other animal diseases, farmers take out insurance for it, culling of symptomatic herds and release us taxpayers from having to pay for this nonsense.

This is the single most damning piece of evidence. Aside from dairy farming issues, bBovine TB isn’t even an issue! So the whole question of whether to cull or not is immaterial. Clearly, the whole thing is another example of politics for the sake of appearing to be doing something.

And sadly for the badgers it is them that are going to pay the price. Ridiculous on an altogether other level. Not only is the science supposedly supporting the efficacy of the culling suspect BUT it is nothing more than inept politicians wanting to appear useful.

Breaking badger culling news on ITV.com

ITV.com provide a regularly updated page on the badger cull story which is a great way to keep up to date. Sadly I can’t find the RSS link but you can follow it

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-08-26/badger-cull-begins-in-uk/

Last word on the badger cull for now…

 

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