Tag Archives: Bovine TB

To ‘Cull or not to Cull’ that is the question?

14 Jun

The ‘badger cull’ debate rages on and on,

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

The Government says, “this is the right thing to do”.

Those who are opposed says, “it’s barbaric and cruel”.

There are two sides of a coin, between what is right,

Farmers, Government and Activists fight.

It can’t go on, we must stop the spread,

Either way you see it, ‘animals end up dead’.

There are no easy answers…..

….. and no easy choices,

So many opinions, so many voices.

So the debate continues to divide,

Where do YOU stand?

What is YOUR side?

The debate badgers on…

6 Jun

On Wednesday the 5th of June, the commons debate on the call to drop the proposed pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the summer were rejected by 299 votes to 250.

The government says that the spread of Bovine TB, which is known to be spread by badgers is costing farmers and the wider economy more than £500m.

Farmers and supporters of the cull have said that they have had enough and are at ‘their wits end’. Though others have questioned the true effectiveness and have called for alternatives.

It was reported that 28,00 cattle were destroyed last year due to the infection of Bovine TB.

The government has also said that, ‘Scientific Tests’, have demonstrated a link between infected badgers and cattle. They added that culling significantly reduces incidents of Bovine Tb.

But Animal Right activists are planning to take direct action to stop the slaughter of more than 5,000 badgers, who will be shot in the open without being first trapped in cages, (which is the current practice). They argue that vaccinating badgers would be a more effective approach and to them a more humane way to stop the spread of Bovine TB.

Conservative MP for The Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clinton-Brown has said, “badgers could become ‘vicious’ when caught in cages, and that it would be a non-starter to vaccinate a large number of TB ‘hotspots’.

But on the flip side, Labour MP for Derby North commented, “there was no scientific evidence to suggest that the culling of these animals would have the desired effect”.  ” In fact in contrast it would result in animals ‘dying in agony’ and further enraging public opinion.

Andrew George who is the Lib Dem MP for St Ives, has suggested that “ministers are willing to back a vaccination trial in Cornwall, which he said would cost around £2m”. He continued by saying, “surely this would be cheaper than having to police the ongoing demonstrations against the badger culls, and that animals welfare groups could contribute to some of the cost of the experiments”.

The head of the charity ‘Care for the Wild’, Philip Mansbridge has accused the government of “offering farmers false hope”. “Common sense shows that culling is simply a ‘no-win’ solution and that  the killing will go on and on, without a real dent being made in this devastating disease”.

So the battle rages on…..

Will there ever be a solution, that is practical, workable and productive for all concerned?

Are the government treading a dangerous line in solving this ongoing issue and the devastation, that is costing millions of pounds?

I can see this battle and debate for all those involved raging on and on, with no real outcome or solution reached that will please all sides.

So…. watch this space…. I am sure we haven’t heard the end of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Badger culling and Brian May

28 Aug

Brian May of Queen

Well, an unholy row is brewing between Brian May of Queen and the NFU.  Why is this?  It’s that old chestnut, badger culling to help prevention of bovine TB that I have been blogging about for some time now.  The pilot sites have been approved, a legal objection has been over ruled so it looks as if a culling pilot will commence.

Back to the row – Brian May wrote an article in the Mail on Sunday which was around voting Conservative (which he did) and the approval of badger culling.  Mr May intimated that he would not vote for David Cameron in the future as he has allowed the badger culling to go ahead and that this is a “particularly nasty kind of Conservatism”.  He also said that anyone that disagreed with the culling was branded as a ‘nutter’ by the NFU and Countryside Alliance.

The NFU has responded that it is wrong to politicize the debate rather than treating it as an animal welfare issue particularly as Mr May linked the culling to blood sports – hare coursing and hunting etc…

Well, the jury is out on whether the pilot culls will work and then if they will be extended, but one thing I am certain of is that we haven’t heard the last from Brian May yet.

Badger culling – again

5 Sep

Hello

Yes, I’m back on to the subject of badger culling again.

I watched an episode of Countryside last night (Sunday) and they re-visited the issue of badger culling to eradicate bovine TB .  As you can see from this article in The Telegraph earlier this year, it brings out extreme views as Adam Henson, a Countryfile reporter was targeted by animal rights activists and extremists despite keeping his opinion  neutral.

I am not going to give an opinion as to whether it is the right or wrong thing to do, but here is an extract of the argument taken from Countryside Magazine and I would welcome your comments…

BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT

For:

  • Badgers can and do carry bovine TB and can pass it on to cattle.
  • A scientific review carried out in 1997 by Professor John Krebs concluded that there was “compelling” evidence for badger-to-cow TB transmission.
  • The existing regime of testing and removal has failed to halt the rise in cases. While infected badgers are on a farm, cattle are at risk.
  • The cost of compensating farmers for the removal of TB reactors keeps growing.
  • Leading scientists, including former government advisor Sir David King, say it would have a significant effect on reducing TB in cattle.

Against:

  • A cull makes scapegoats of badgers, while not addressing the main problem – cow-to-cow transmission. Between the mid-1930s and mid-1960s, testing and removal of infected cattle pushed national infection rates down from around four in 10 to less than one in 1,000.
  • Many believe culling thousands of animals that are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 would be unethical.
  • Improvements to the way cattle are tested and practical measures to keep cattle and badgers apart (such as electric fences around farm buildings) would cut infection rates.

This is an updated article which originally appeared in issue 16 of Countryfile Magazine (January 2009)