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Badger Cull Extended
Posted 21 May 2010
The new farming minister, Jim Paice, has announced that a cull of badgers will take place in bovine TB 'hot spots' in England, most likely to be in Devon and Cornwall. Under the Labour government, Defra took an anti-cull stance based on a decade of research and scientific analysis, and on overwhelming opposition to a cull from the public.
The government-appointed Independent Scientific Group announced in June 2007 that killing badgers would not significantly reduce bovine TB and could make matters worse. It also declared that TB probably first spreads from cattle to badgers, where it remains stable, provided the badgers are undisturbed. Research has demonstrated that culling causes massive disturbance and has the effect of increasing the incidence and spread of the disease.
Instead of killing badgers, a vaccination programme was announced.
The Welsh Assembly Government chose to go ahead with a 'pilot' cull in Pembrokeshire amid huge controversy. Sett surveys are currently underway, and, where there is opposition from landowners, are conducted by balaclava-clad contractors, accompanied by large numbers of police.
Beef and dairy farmers scapegoat badgers for the spread of bovine TB instead of facing up to the real issues: the increasingly intensive nature of these industries, coupled with the unregulated countrywide movement of cows.
- Contact Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR and urge him not to allow a badger cull.
- Choose an animal-free diet. The cull of badgers is driven by farmers who will always kill wildlife in order to 'protect' the animals who make them money. Order a dairy-free information pack