The Con-Demn coalition appears determined to push through their immoral, un-scientific cull of badgers this autumn causing the death of thousands of these innocent creatures and creating deep divisions in the countryside. Dairy farmers, rather than take responsibility for their animals and invest in proper and rigorous bTB screening, have instead decided to try and pass the blame onto badgers.
The cull will be carried out in two pilot areas, one in Somerset and one in Gloucestershire. The results from these pilots will determine whether or not the cull is rolled out to bTB hotspots nationwide in future years, Defra is prepared to kill at least 70% of the badgers within cull areas; this may effectively kill all the badgers in those areas. Badgers will be shot, at night, with high powered rifles which may pose a threat to local residents, pets and other animals.
After the previous large scale cull of badgers in the UK, the Krebs trials, Professor John Bourne, head of the Independent Scientific Group concluded: “careful evaluation of our own and others’ data indicates that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better. Second, weaknesses in cattle testing regimes mean that cattle themselves contribute significantly to the persistence and spread of disease in all areas where TB occurs, and in some parts of Britain are likely to be the main source of infection. Scientific findings indicate that the rising incidence of disease can be reversed, and geographical spread contained, by the rigid application of cattle-based control measures alone." (Source: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/isg/report/final_report.pdf )
The Krebs trials lasted seven years and cost UK tax payers millions of pounds yet the Government still ignore the findings of the Independent Scientific Group and forge ahead with further culling of badgers, costing more money and leading to chaos in the countryside.
Lord Krebs, who is one of the government's most respected scientific advisers, said that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is administering the current cull, has no way of knowing how many badgers there are in the area, so will not know when they've killed 70% of the badgers in the area.
"I would go down the vaccination and biosecurity route rather than this crazy scheme that may deliver very small advantage, may deliver none." he said.
Professor Bourne and Lord Krebs are two of the leading experts on badgers, and badger culling, in the world but the Government have decided to totally ignore them, and all the scientific evidence they have presented, in their blinkered desire to placate the powerful farming lobby.
Please see http://badger-killers.com to see what you can do to stop the cull and visit http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/index.php/get-involved/localgroups to find your local sab group who will be involved in campaigning against it.