Sunday, 26 February 2012
bTB - Badgers and the Cull!
During the month of November 2010 I contacted my local MP, Mr. Mark Harper on the issue of bTB and my concerns regarding the proposed badger cull.
It took a while, but I finally received a reply. Not from my local MP, but from MP Jim Paice "Minister of State for Agriculture and Food."
He did have an answer for everything I threw at him, but he failed to "directly" answer many of my questions and concerns.
Maybe he thought I would lose interest and he could shut me up with a 6 page reply.
You can read the 6 page reply at the end of this post.
Sadly the cull has now been given the green light in Gloucestershire and this is very disappointing as there is an alternative.
A vaccine is available, it has been trialed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and it works, yet our Government is not interested in investing in a vaccination; instead they have invested in a trial cull, which will see free running badgers shot at night. Not all of these animals will be carrying bTB, so this means lots of healthy badgers "will" inevitably be shot!
For them to be able to establish if this trial cull works, they will need to eradicate all badgers from the chosen area and to make matters worse, the reason it has been labeled a trial cull is because they are not sure if shooting free running badgers is the most humane way to do it!
If you have researched bTB you will know that the bTB bacteria can lye undetected in the soil for nearly two years! Click Here
If they persist with their proposed cull, killing all the badgers in the designated areas will not solve the problem as the areas will also have to be sealed off while being cleaned and disinfected. Is this going to be possible on small holdings and at farms, which have large herds?
Also, how are they going to stop other badgers from taking up this new territory after they have eradicated all the badgers? After all that's what all animals do; search out new territory!
The shooting of just one badger at night could cause the entire colony to flee the sett in search of safer ground. What if any, or all of these badgers are infected with bTB! I don't have to spell out what would happen then, do I?
Some of the other concerns I raised were...
Removal of infected animals
Control methods in place for the movement of infected animals
Here is my reply from MP Jim Paice, dated 8th February 2011.
CLICK PAGES FOR ENLARGED VIEW
I will leave you with this....
DEFRA has invested over £16 million in badger TB vaccine Research and Development since 1994/95. So why is it that the badger cull vaccine deployment fund is only £250,000?
Where did bTB come from? Was it the badgers who transmitted this disease to cattle, or did the cattle transmit it to the badgers?
It has been widely documented that typical farm conditions harbour bTB. Lets face it, the vast majority of cattle on our farms have to stand in their own urine and feaces, in damp, dingy, humid sheds and barns. These conditions are ideal for the bTB bacteria to survive!
Visit Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for more information on the vaccine HERE
Please CLICK HERE to add your support for the badger.