Conservative Government in denial as the Badger Army gears up for a busy year.

Conservative Government in denial as the Badger Army gears up for a busy year.

Like This Video 1492 wildtalkadmin
Added by January 18, 2016

The Badger Army is a growing group of volunteers from all over the UK that have come together in protest against the Conservative Government’s badger cull. Over the past two years the campaigners have organised 31 protest marches, surveyed for 100s of badger setts in the cull zones, searched for wounded badgers during the culls and patrolled the cull zones at night with the aim of saving as many badger lives as possible.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Badger Army will be busy over the coming years.

Despite the latest figures reported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showing that TB in cattle is rising in and around the badger cull zones, Environment Secretary Liz Truss reported to the House of Commons just before the Christmas break that “Our strategy to eradicate bovine TB is working” and announced plans to extend the badger cull to 12 areas of England over the next two years.

BadgerThe Conservative Government appears to be in denial about the failure of the badger cull. After 3 years of culling badgers, the most up to date data released by DEFRA for Somerset shows that in the 12 months to September 2014 the level of new TB incidents in cattle was 297 but in the 12 months to September 2015 this had risen to 320. This is a 7.75% increase in cattle infected by TB.

The experience in England is in marked contrast to the success in Wales where no badgers have been culled for over six years. Farmers and the Welsh Government have implemented a comprehensive bovine TB eradication plan which has concentrated on annual testing of cattle, strict bio-security measures and movement control. New incidents of bovine TB in cattle are reported to be down by 28% in Wales with a 45% cut in the number of cattle being slaughtered. This now leaves 94% of the Welsh heard TB free.

The Badger Army is not the only group opposed to the badger cull. Calls to abandon the cull have come from a host of wildlife and conservation organisations and experts including The Wildlife Trusts, The Badger Trust, RSPB, The Mammals Society, The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Animal Aid, League Against Cruel Sports, RSPCA, Broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham, Dr Brian May and David Attenborough who have all branded the cull as of being ineffective, inhumane and more likely to spread the disease than control it.

0391-1024x765Chairman of the Badger Trust Peter Martin commented “The Government’s own risk assessments stated before the culls began that there was a high probability that cattle TB rates would rise following the badger culls and this was backed up by the country’s top scientists in the field.” He added “In practice the culls have been condemned by independent scientists and vets as inhumane and the sub-optimal way they are being conducted means they have mostly failed to achieve even their basic targets. Unless the government can prove the culling of badgers is working in terms of lowering TB in cattle, this cruel, ineffective and hugely costly policy must be stopped immediately.”

Given the obvious failure of the badger cull to reduce TB in cattle and the level of opposition from the general public, many scientists and wildlife experts are asking the question: Why is Government pressing ahead with the cull?

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is, however, in full support of the cull. The NFU President Meurig Raymond said in response to the news that the badger cull would be extended “Farmers are absolutely ready to go in lots of areas for next year and the year after that. I believe the Secretary of State’s announcement and the determination she has shown will increase the impetus and enthusiasm of the people involved. Farmers are also picking up anecdotal evidence in Somerset and Gloucestershire of herds going clear and are even more convinced culling has to be part of the strategy if they are going to eradicate TB in the next five to 10 years.”

Further information about  the Badger Army can be found by clicking here.

The footage below is Dominic Dyre’s impassioned speech recorded at the protest march against the badger cull in Hereford on Nov 21 2015.

Similar Videos

Vets call for halt to badger cull in open letter to English Nature

1911 0

English Nature’s decision to licence England’s badger cull has no scientific basis, says Iain McGill and 26 other distinguished vets in an  open letter to EN’s Chief Scientist. This Open Letter was sent to Natural England Chief Scientist Professor Tim Hill,

Take part in the first ever National Water Vole Monitoring Programme!

1487 0

Once a familiar sight along our waterways, water voles have rapidly disappeared from much of the landscape, experiencing the most serious decline of any wild mammal over the last century. The shocking drop in numbers is due to the release

A vote for the Conservatives is a vote for the badger cull.

2948 0

In an attempt to secure the votes of the farming community, Environment Minister Liz Truss has pledged that badger culls will continue under a new Conservative led government after the May general election and that culling will form an integral