Cautious welcome for badger cull vote

Dorset Widlife Trust chief Simon Cripps

Dorset Widlife Trust chief Simon Cripps

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WILDLIFE campaigners have welcomed what could be the first steps to halting a badger cull in Dorset.

At a debate in the House of Commons, 219 MPs voted in favour of a motion put forward by MP Anne Main to halt the government’s policy on badger culling.

The success of the backbench motion does not mean the government will halt the cull.

Pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire last year ended in failure, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) said.

Dorset was earmarked as a reserve site in case either of the test culls last year could not go ahead, and farmers have spoken out in favour of bringing a cull to the county if this is allowed.

Dorset’s Police and Crime Com-missioner Martyn Underhill said in January that a cull will probably happen in Dorset next year.

Simon Cripps, chief executive of DWT, said: “This overwhelming vote in favour of halting the cull, which has failed in both Somerset and Gloucestershire, shows that MPs finally understand that culling is not the way forward in controlling the disease Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. “Dorset Wildlife Trust would like to encourage those farmers who favour a cull in Dorset to consider alternative options, such as badger vaccination.” He added: “Dorset Wildlife Trust’s understanding from Defra is that if badger culling continues despite the failure of the pilots, it would be highly likely to start in Dorset in 2014, so now is the time for government to make the hard – but right – decision to end culling and back a vaccination plan.”

But Paul Gould, Dorset National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman, said an effective, live vaccine could be years away from being developed.

He said: “Nothing has changed. It would be a lovely option if the vaccine worked, but it doesn’t.”

He denied that the pilot culls had failed to reach their targets.

“The figures are quite arbitrary because we don’t know how many badgers there were to start with, so how do you know what percentage have been culled?

“There continues to be a high expression of interest from Dorset farmers, and across the country, of culling badgers.

“My own herd are being TB tested in three weeks’ time and it is so stressful.

“It distresses the animals and the vets hate it because it means giving farmers news that could collapse their business.”

According to Defra, more than 32,000 cattle in the UK – around 90 a day – were slaughtered in 2013 after testing positive for TB.

Comments (7)

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9:57am Mon 17 Mar 14

iansedwell says...

Paul Gould, Dorset National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman, said an effective, live vaccine could be years away from being developed. Paul Gould is being ever so slightly mendacious. The government's own website details the results of its own vaccine field trials in which it reported, "ey finding of the field study, conducted over four years in a naturally infected population of more than 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire, was that vaccination resulted in a 74 per cent reduction in the proportion of wild badgers testing positive to the antibody blood test for TB in badgers."

https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/news/resea
rch-reports-on-bovin
e-tb-in-badgers-publ
ished

The entire cull policy as presently conducted by HMG is nothing more than a sop to the irrational, anti-badger bloodlust of a bovine faming community.
Paul Gould, Dorset National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman, said an effective, live vaccine could be years away from being developed. Paul Gould is being ever so slightly mendacious. The government's own website details the results of its own vaccine field trials in which it reported, "ey finding of the field study, conducted over four years in a naturally infected population of more than 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire, was that vaccination resulted in a 74 per cent reduction in the proportion of wild badgers testing positive to the antibody blood test for TB in badgers." https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/news/resea rch-reports-on-bovin e-tb-in-badgers-publ ished The entire cull policy as presently conducted by HMG is nothing more than a sop to the irrational, anti-badger bloodlust of a bovine faming community. iansedwell
  • Score: 38

10:17am Mon 17 Mar 14

NDJMILLER says...

Paul Gould's argument is somewhat circular. If we don't know how many badgers there were to begin with then how did DEFRA come up with a target figure for the cull in the first place ? Taking that further, how would he know how many there are left and therefore how many more to cull ? Despite this he then goes on to advocate continuing the slaughter ! Here's a novel idea, how about waiting to see if the pilots actually result in a decrease in infection rates in the areas concerned ? That is the purpose of a pilot, right ?

As for the 32,000 cattle slaughtered in 2013 due to TB, what about the hundreds of thousands of male calves referred to in this article ?

http://www.fwi.co.uk
/articles/23/11/2012
/136274/can-male-dai
ry-calves-for-beef-b
e-made-to-pay.htm

My sympathy for farmers evaporated some time ago.
Paul Gould's argument is somewhat circular. If we don't know how many badgers there were to begin with then how did DEFRA come up with a target figure for the cull in the first place ? Taking that further, how would he know how many there are left and therefore how many more to cull ? Despite this he then goes on to advocate continuing the slaughter ! Here's a novel idea, how about waiting to see if the pilots actually result in a decrease in infection rates in the areas concerned ? That is the purpose of a pilot, right ? As for the 32,000 cattle slaughtered in 2013 due to TB, what about the hundreds of thousands of male calves referred to in this article ? http://www.fwi.co.uk /articles/23/11/2012 /136274/can-male-dai ry-calves-for-beef-b e-made-to-pay.htm My sympathy for farmers evaporated some time ago. NDJMILLER
  • Score: 32

11:11am Mon 17 Mar 14

ksmain says...

I don't know why we waste time on this legislation.

There is a far more effective form of culling - its' called THE CAR.
I don't know why we waste time on this legislation. There is a far more effective form of culling - its' called THE CAR. ksmain
  • Score: -32

11:57am Mon 17 Mar 14

rogerout says...

It is quite clear from the increasing scientific evidence that the Badger is the scapegoat behind Paterson/NFU politics.
Prof John McInerney, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Policy, University of Exeter said:
“Bovine TB is unarguably a serious problem in cattle farming, but the continual focus on the badger aspect is getting in the way of proper rigorous thinking about disease control. bTB is a disease of cattle and the badger is just an accessory, so badger culling (or vaccination) is just an accessory to the main problem. The control strategy has to be built directly around measures to limit the spread within the cattle population, and until this is done we will never get on top of the problem.”

http://www.farmersgu
ardian.com/home/hot-
topics/bovine-tb/tes
ting-not-vaccination
-driving-welsh-tb-de
cline-cvo/62983.arti
cle

Also March 17 th Times Letters arrogance and contempt for the electorate in the recent Government debate.
It is quite clear from the increasing scientific evidence that the Badger is the scapegoat behind Paterson/NFU politics. Prof John McInerney, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Policy, University of Exeter said: “Bovine TB is unarguably a serious problem in cattle farming, but the continual focus on the badger aspect is getting in the way of proper rigorous thinking about disease control. bTB is a disease of cattle and the badger is just an accessory, so badger culling (or vaccination) is just an accessory to the main problem. The control strategy has to be built directly around measures to limit the spread within the cattle population, and until this is done we will never get on top of the problem.” http://www.farmersgu ardian.com/home/hot- topics/bovine-tb/tes ting-not-vaccination -driving-welsh-tb-de cline-cvo/62983.arti cle Also March 17 th Times Letters arrogance and contempt for the electorate in the recent Government debate. rogerout
  • Score: 28

12:05pm Mon 17 Mar 14

elloello1980 says...

“Nothing has changed. It would be a lovely option if the vaccine worked, but it doesn’t.”

Yeah, and the cull worked? No, just wasted money that could have been invested into a vaccine.

sickening decision from the tories yet again, and never a party to admit being wrong, they'll continue shooting away money. whilst giving their toff mates some 'shooting fun' at the same time.

respect the British wildlife, amnd learn to live aside!
“Nothing has changed. It would be a lovely option if the vaccine worked, but it doesn’t.” Yeah, and the cull worked? No, just wasted money that could have been invested into a vaccine. sickening decision from the tories yet again, and never a party to admit being wrong, they'll continue shooting away money. whilst giving their toff mates some 'shooting fun' at the same time. respect the British wildlife, amnd learn to live aside! elloello1980
  • Score: 32

5:46pm Mon 17 Mar 14

oldbrock says...

iansedwell wrote:
Paul Gould, Dorset National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman, said an effective, live vaccine could be years away from being developed. Paul Gould is being ever so slightly mendacious. The government's own website details the results of its own vaccine field trials in which it reported, "ey finding of the field study, conducted over four years in a naturally infected population of more than 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire, was that vaccination resulted in a 74 per cent reduction in the proportion of wild badgers testing positive to the antibody blood test for TB in badgers."

https://www.gov.uk/g

overnment/news/resea

rch-reports-on-bovin

e-tb-in-badgers-publ

ished

The entire cull policy as presently conducted by HMG is nothing more than a sop to the irrational, anti-badger bloodlust of a bovine faming community.
and that same community forced the hand of "their" government pals to kill a protected species, conveniently forgetting eartag swapping and sill moving cattle around at their whim in the middle of a tuberculosis epidemic, shooting themselves in the foot and having a protected species demonised to pay for it
[quote][p][bold]iansedwell[/bold] wrote: Paul Gould, Dorset National Farmers Union (NFU) county chairman, said an effective, live vaccine could be years away from being developed. Paul Gould is being ever so slightly mendacious. The government's own website details the results of its own vaccine field trials in which it reported, "ey finding of the field study, conducted over four years in a naturally infected population of more than 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire, was that vaccination resulted in a 74 per cent reduction in the proportion of wild badgers testing positive to the antibody blood test for TB in badgers." https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/news/resea rch-reports-on-bovin e-tb-in-badgers-publ ished The entire cull policy as presently conducted by HMG is nothing more than a sop to the irrational, anti-badger bloodlust of a bovine faming community.[/p][/quote]and that same community forced the hand of "their" government pals to kill a protected species, conveniently forgetting eartag swapping and sill moving cattle around at their whim in the middle of a tuberculosis epidemic, shooting themselves in the foot and having a protected species demonised to pay for it oldbrock
  • Score: 15

3:07pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Badgersue says...

Considering in 2008 75,000 cows were destroyed because they were not in calf and 51,000 destroyed because of mastitis, the Btb figures don't sound so bad but you never hear the NFU mentioning that!!
They are determined to kill badgers because they consider our wildlife a nuisance.
Vaccination works for badgers, so Paul Gould needs to follow the science more closely.
Considering in 2008 75,000 cows were destroyed because they were not in calf and 51,000 destroyed because of mastitis, the Btb figures don't sound so bad but you never hear the NFU mentioning that!! They are determined to kill badgers because they consider our wildlife a nuisance. Vaccination works for badgers, so Paul Gould needs to follow the science more closely. Badgersue
  • Score: 5

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