County could be poised for badger cull

DECISION SOON: Paul Gould of Dorset NFU

DECISION SOON: Paul Gould of Dorset NFU

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

DORSET is once again facing the possibility of a badger cull in the county.

Following reports that a cull is set to be rolled out in Dorset later this year, the Department for Rural Affairs (Defra) has insisted that ‘no decision has been made’.

The results of the trial culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire have yet to be officially released but opponents say they missed targets on how many badgers were killed, and that some were killed inhumanely.

Farmers in Dorset are broadly in support of bringing a cull to the county, where livestock has been badly affected by bovine TB.

Dorset was a reserve site in case either of the trial culls last year could not go ahead.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust, which has begun its own programme of vaccinating badgers, welcomed news last week that MPs supported a motion put forward in the House of Commons to halt the policy on culling.

But culls could still go ahead, despite the success of the motion.

A spokesperson for Defra said: “Bovine TB is the most pressing animal health problem in the UK and causing untold misery to our beef and dairy farmers.

“The Government remains determined to tackle bovine TB by all available means which is why we have outlined a 25 year plan to eradicate this disease by addressing infection in both cattle and wildlife which was debated and approved by Parliament last year. “We are considering the findings of the independent expert panel before a decision is made on making further licences to cull badgers available.”

Paul Gould, Dorset County Chairman of the National Farmers Union (NFU), said: “From what I’ve heard people have come to the conclusion that the cull will be coming to Dorset but until the official announcement is made we can’t be certain.

“There’s always going to be speculation but the decision is expected shortly.”

Campaigners remain opposed to a cull in Dorset and the Badger and Bovine Welfare Group, which is based in the county, is also running a programme to vaccinate badgers.

Speaking on behalf of the group Andy Hamilton said: “This is sad but not unexpected news for Dorset badgers.

“The three main planks of this ramshackle policy – that it would be effective, humane and eradicate bovine TB – have been shown to be rotten.

“We could be looking at the disappearance of badgers from parts of Dorset altogether.”

Comments (8)

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8:29am Tue 25 Mar 14

wowfood says...

Sod the badger cull. I'd much rather a seagull cull. Blasted shitehawks.
Sod the badger cull. I'd much rather a seagull cull. Blasted shitehawks. wowfood
  • Score: 1

11:30am Tue 25 Mar 14

shy talk says...

Get yourself a licence from DEFRA. But you can only cull Blackbacks, Lesser Blackbacks and Herring Gulls.
Get yourself a licence from DEFRA. But you can only cull Blackbacks, Lesser Blackbacks and Herring Gulls. shy talk
  • Score: -4

11:57am Tue 25 Mar 14

ThomasFairfax says...

NO.
The cull was ineffectual and cruel in Somerset and in Devon. There is no reason to believe a cull would work any different here in Dorset either
In any case, the badgers would only move the goalposts.
NO. The cull was ineffectual and cruel in Somerset and in Devon. There is no reason to believe a cull would work any different here in Dorset either In any case, the badgers would only move the goalposts. ThomasFairfax
  • Score: 8

4:49pm Tue 25 Mar 14

arlbergbahn says...

Typical Government stupidity. A policy isn't working? carry on with it. Maybe it will start working. But we must never consider trying any alternative policies that anyone else has suggested; that would make us look as if we're not the Experts.
Typical Government stupidity. A policy isn't working? carry on with it. Maybe it will start working. But we must never consider trying any alternative policies that anyone else has suggested; that would make us look as if we're not the Experts. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 5

5:39pm Tue 25 Mar 14

rogerout says...

You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet. The Welsh Government has already demonstrated a significant reduction in Bovine TB , by using a humane science based programme of measures for Cattle and introducing Vaccination for Badgers. Of some 1400 Badgers Vaccinated in 2012 no visible signs of TB were found. In England
during last years Cull some 1800 Badgers were shot. But no TB testing took place. How many healthy Badgers were killed ? Probably most of them.

This month in the House of Commons 219 Mp's voted against any further Cull of Badgers. If a Cull is announced by Government , then the Electorates view has clearly been ignored.
You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet. The Welsh Government has already demonstrated a significant reduction in Bovine TB , by using a humane science based programme of measures for Cattle and introducing Vaccination for Badgers. Of some 1400 Badgers Vaccinated in 2012 no visible signs of TB were found. In England during last years Cull some 1800 Badgers were shot. But no TB testing took place. How many healthy Badgers were killed ? Probably most of them. This month in the House of Commons 219 Mp's voted against any further Cull of Badgers. If a Cull is announced by Government , then the Electorates view has clearly been ignored. rogerout
  • Score: 7

8:27pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Tinker2 says...

rogerout wrote:
You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet. The Welsh Government has already demonstrated a significant reduction in Bovine TB , by using a humane science based programme of measures for Cattle and introducing Vaccination for Badgers. Of some 1400 Badgers Vaccinated in 2012 no visible signs of TB were found. In England during last years Cull some 1800 Badgers were shot. But no TB testing took place. How many healthy Badgers were killed ? Probably most of them. This month in the House of Commons 219 Mp's voted against any further Cull of Badgers. If a Cull is announced by Government , then the Electorates view has clearly been ignored.
Agree entirely with you.
Anyway where are the Bovine TB outbreaks in Dorset? surely it would be common sense to target problem areas, and if the government insist on this knee jerk action, at least just shoot those in the infected areas.
If you want to stop the contact of infected badgers with cattle, then why are the farmers not making their cattle yards badger proof? Simple bit of fencing and securing foodstuffs away from scavenging badgers. Case of helping yourselves Mr NFU Chairman.
[quote][p][bold]rogerout[/bold] wrote: You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet. The Welsh Government has already demonstrated a significant reduction in Bovine TB , by using a humane science based programme of measures for Cattle and introducing Vaccination for Badgers. Of some 1400 Badgers Vaccinated in 2012 no visible signs of TB were found. In England during last years Cull some 1800 Badgers were shot. But no TB testing took place. How many healthy Badgers were killed ? Probably most of them. This month in the House of Commons 219 Mp's voted against any further Cull of Badgers. If a Cull is announced by Government , then the Electorates view has clearly been ignored.[/p][/quote]Agree entirely with you. Anyway where are the Bovine TB outbreaks in Dorset? surely it would be common sense to target problem areas, and if the government insist on this knee jerk action, at least just shoot those in the infected areas. If you want to stop the contact of infected badgers with cattle, then why are the farmers not making their cattle yards badger proof? Simple bit of fencing and securing foodstuffs away from scavenging badgers. Case of helping yourselves Mr NFU Chairman. Tinker2
  • Score: 4

1:36pm Wed 26 Mar 14

MinJam says...

rogerout says...
You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet.

BUT you can stop it being spread!
rogerout says... You cannot cure an infectious disease with a bullet. BUT you can stop it being spread! MinJam
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 26 Mar 14

MinJam says...

Tinker2 says...
Simple bit of fencing ........
...................
Hahaha - you seem to know even less about badgers than you do about zoonotic Tuberculosis!
Tinker2 says... Simple bit of fencing ........ [and securing foodstuffs away from scavenging badgers] ................... Hahaha - you seem to know even less about badgers than you do about zoonotic Tuberculosis! MinJam
  • Score: 0

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