THE U.K. BADGER
LET'S GET REAL PEOPLE - WE NEED TO PROTEST
THE SCIENCE THEY ARE TELLING US IS WRONG!
Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
Today's date March 11, 2012
UPDATE 3-21-12 - culling called off
updated October 15, 2012 CULLING BEING DEBATED ONCE MORE
updated October 29, 2012 CULLING IS A BLOODY MESS
updated March 11, 2013 WATCH THE VIDEO:
Do the math on this one. Cost of bTB to 3.65 million. Cost of cull over 8
Something is rotten in London.
Badgers are generally protected under UK law, but exceptions are
allowed for disease prevention
Planned badger culls in
England risk increasing rather than decreasing the spread of TB in cattle,
more than 30 animal disease experts have warned.
In a letter to the Observer they call on ministers to halt pilots in
Somerset and Gloucestershire where badgers - which can carry TB - are to be
They say the pilot culls are too small to provide useful data and risk
becoming "a costly distraction".
Defra says the action is necessary to protect cattle from bovine TB.
Last year, 26,000 cattle in England had to be slaughtered after
contracting the disease.
The Welsh government has opted for a system of vaccination while Scotland
is officially TB-free.
Academics from the UK, as well as US
universities, write that "as scientists with expertise in managing
wildlife and wildlife diseases, we believe the complexities of TB
transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather
than reducing it".
Unfortunately, culling badgers as planned is
very unlikely to contribute to TB eradication”
Letter from experts
Signatories include former government chief
scientist and Royal Society president Lord May as well as Zoological Society
of London president Professor Sir Patrick Bateson.
They say that, even if the increases do not materialise, "the government
predicts only limited benefits, insufficient to offset the costs for either
farmers or taxpayers".
"Necessarily stringent licensing conditions" mean many TB-affected areas
of England will remain ineligible for such culling, they say.
They add: "Unfortunately, culling badgers as planned is very unlikely to
contribute to TB eradication.
"We therefore urge the government to reconsider its strategy."
Supporters of the badger culls, which could begin in Somerset and
Gloucestershire within days, say that, with no effective vaccines currently
available, they are the best means of trying to tackle the disease.
The pilot schemes, which aim to assess the effectiveness of the
government's plan to slow down the spread of TB in cattle in England, will
be monitored by an independent group for a period of six weeks.
If the body is satisfied that the culls are effective and humane it will
advise ministers to continue the trials for four years - which could pave
the way for further applications.
The government's plan is based on the results of a nine-year trial which
showed the spread of the disease could be slowed slightly if more than 70%
of badgers in an area could be eradicated.
But if it was less than 70%, the spread of TB could increase, it found.
It's very hard to see how Defra are going to
collect the crucial data to assess whether it's worth going ahead
with free shooting at all”
Last month, scientist Lord Krebs, whose research
is being cited by the government to justify its culls, told BBC
News the scheme was "crazy".
He said the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra), which was administering the scheme, had no way of knowing how many
badgers there were in the areas and so would not know when 70% of the
animals had been killed.
"I would go down the vaccination and biosecurity route rather than this
crazy scheme that may deliver very small advantage, may deliver none," said
Lord Krebs, who has also signed the letter.
"And it's very hard to see how Defra are going to collect the crucial
data to assess whether it's worth going ahead with free shooting at all."
Defra Minister David Heath has said the department's priority is to make
sure any culling of badgers is carried out in a safe, humane and effective
He said the licences for pilots issued met strict criteria imposed and
they would "help us assess the effectiveness of controlled shooting before
we look at a wider roll out to control the spread of bovine TB in cattle".
"No-one wants to kill badgers but the science is clear that we will not
get on top of this disease without tackling it in both wildlife and cattle."
In the Forest of Dean, all sides of the
debate say badger cull is 'a bloody mess'
Cull's opponents are celebrating but farmers, politicians and
campaigners agree fight against bovine TB has been botched
"It's a mess, a bloody mess," was farmer Carol Wainwright's blunt
assessment. "The government's messed the whole thing up. It's
disgusting. They've put us through all this, promised they're going
to sort out the problem and then at the last minute they give up."
For once, people on both sides of the debate agreed. Whether they
were for the badger cull or opposed to it, they tended to agree the
policy had been badly botched. "I can't believe that at the very
last moment they've said it's not going ahead," said Wainwright, who
farms in the planned cull area in Gloucestershire. "It's a
Steve Jones, a farm manager in the Forest of Dean and a vocal
critic of culling, said he had thought the shooting would at
least begin. "I thought it would be derailed. But I thought the
train would at least get out of the station," he said. "This just
goes to show how flawed the cull was. Public opinion is against it,
science is against it, common sense is against it."
Jones feels hugely sorry for the farmers who are having to cope
with bovine TB but believes they need to do more – and be helped to
do more – to improve animal husbandry and biosecurity on their
farms. "Dairy farmers have a really big problem. The price of milk
is so low that these farms are becoming more and more impoverished.
They can't afford to look after the
animals in the way they need to be looked after," he said.
Roger Yeates, a Forest of Dean farmer and Conservative
councillor, said the planned cull had been badly handled. "I didn't
badgers was the way to go – that would mean killing the healthy
ones that were running about; the infected ones tend to stay
underground. I'm pleased it's off."
The Forest of Dean district council had voted to ban badger
culling on its land and was calling on all landowners within its
boundary to do the same.
Jackie Fraser, the Labour councillor who proposed the motion to
ban culling, gave a tentative welcome to the government's move
"I'm pleased but cautious. I hope the government is going to look
seriously at other ways of tackling bovine TB, like vaccinating
cattle and improving biosecurity."
The campaign group
Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting expressed delight. Liz
Gaffer, a spokeswoman, admitted she had tears in her eyes when she
heard. "We are so, so pleased to hear this news. We hope the
government will not just delay but will decide not to pursue a cull
as the evidence is clear that culling badgers is not the most
effective, efficient or humane way of reducing bovine TB.
"People in Gloucestershire have voiced their concern over the
rationale behind it and the safety issues involved. We believe the
government may have taken this on board and we will continue to
campaign for a vaccination programme of cattle and badgers that we
believe will really support farmers who are faced with this awful
For now, the saboteurs, who had been ready to get out into the
cull zones wearing in high-visibility jackets and carrying horns and
rape alarms, can stand down.
Over the last few months experienced saboteurs have been joined
by many newcomers to the animal rights scene, keen to map setts and
disrupt the cull.
Kayleigh, an activist who took the Guardian out on a
sett-mapping expedition, spent the morning handing out leaflets
outside a supermarket in Bristol to flag up the fact that it stocked
milk from places where badgers were going to be culled.
The plan was for a few drinks later to celebrate. "It's fantastic
news; it takes the pressure off us a bit and we can have a bit of a
break but we'll continue to survey setts and continue to prepare.
We'll also be making sure farmers don't start taking the law into
their own hands."
Jay Tiernan, a leader in the
Stop the Cull
organisation, which champions direct action, said he would carry
on fighting the cull until the government announced that it had been
dropped permanently. "There are a lot of new people who have come to
the movement in the last few months. They won't be going anywhere
and will be ready to get out there if needed."
Campaigners opposed to the badger cull planned in western England say they
have secured a debate in the House of Commons against it and are planning a
million-strong march on Westminster.
Brian May, the Queen guitarist, will lead the protest outside parliament on
the day of the debate.
This weekend Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, whose constituency is
close to one of the cull zones, came out against the policy, saying he found it
“difficult to justify”.
The Commons debate has been secured after an online petition started by May
secured 100,000 signatures.
It calls on the government to halt plans to kill badgers as a means of
reducing the level of tuberculosis in cattle.
**Wed 10 Oct 12**
PRESS RELEASE: BRIAN MAY AND RSPCA TAKE THE BATTLE FOR THE BADGERS TO EUROPE,
AS THE PETITION TO STOP THE CULL PASSES 150,000 SIGNATORIES
guitarist and animal welfare campaigner, Brian May, will travel to Brussels
today to campaign for a change in European regulations which would
allow vaccination of cattle in the fight against Bovine TB.
May will be in Brussels with the RSPCA Chief Executive, Gavin Grant, and will
meet a range of decision-makers and influencers, including the senior officials
in the Environment and Agriculture directorates general of the European
Commission, senior British MEPs and the British Vice-President of the European
This is the latest step by May as front-person in the hard fought campaign to
prevent the implementation of the badger cull given the go-ahead by the UK
Government, which has already seen licences granted for the slaughter of badgers
in test trials in the UK countryside, and which May and fellow anti-cull
partners vigorously oppose.
May said, “We are
all focussed on the battle to eradicate bovine TB. What is absolutely
clear from the available scientific evidence is that vaccination of cattle and
badgers, along with bio-security and movement controls in the farming industry,
is the only way to make meaningful progress. We believe this is where the
Government and the National Farmers Union should be directing their attention,
rather than on a scientifically
flawed and ethically
unjustifiable cull of badgers, which has been sold to the farmers as a solution,
but in fact cannot even begin to solve their problems, and may well make matters
The Team Badger campaign, which was launched in London last month as a
all of the UK’s leading animal welfare NGOs, has continued to gather
momentum. On Tuesday 9th October, the
to stop the cull, on the Government’s e-Petitions website, surpassed the
Anne Brummer, Chief Executive of the Save Me Campaign, said, “When
DEFRA Secretary Owen Paterson told the Conservative Party Conference that the
cull would not be “knocked off course by a few extremists” he was actually
referring to more than 150,000 of the people he should be representing. This
cull is beyond doubt enormously unpopular with the public, who correctly
perceive it as a tragic mistake.
“The people have sent a message to the Government that this cull
should stop. We now need to have that debate in Parliament based on the
available scientific evidence, and without recourse to wild extrapolations. If
the Government have any respect for democracy at
all, they will ensure that not a single badger is harmed until that
debate has taken place.”
Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said, “We need urgent action
from the European Union to help our cows, badgers and embattled dairy farmers.
The European Commission must meet its own 2014 deadline to approve a cattle
vaccine and endorse the DIVA test that differentiates between infected and
vaccinated cows. Members of the European Parliament must press for the resources
to make this happen.
“UK MPs of
all Parties must now stand-up and be counted. Parliament should reject
the cull and back vaccination. The UK Government must be led by science and
respect the people. Let Parliament speak for good science and the well-being of
our fellow creatures.”
The badger cull is opposed by a growing number of animal welfare
organisations, including RSPCA, Save Me, Stroud 100, Gloucestershire Against
Badger Shooting, Animal Aid, Network for Animals, International Fund for Animal
Welfare, League Against Cruel Sports, Humane Society International/UK, The David
Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Blue Badger, Born Free, Peta, and RSPB.
TOPIC: PROTEST U.K. CULLING OF BADGER POPULATION
BE FULLY INFORMED ON THIS ISSUE:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ... Bovine
tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of cattle and
one of the biggest challenges facing the ...
... of wild animals as reservoirs of the Mycobacterium (e.g.
badgers in the UK ... Eradication of TB in animals
has been a long term goal of the U. S. Department of ...
tuberculosis TB of cattle and implications for human
health ... Tuberculosis is a disease affecting animals
and humans. In cattle it is caused by Mycobacterium ...
This is the old Defra Website - our current information is at
www.defra.gov.uk That site may temporarily link to older
information here that remains relevant ...
UK (GB) Bovine TB Eradication Plan - Summary note. On
15 September 2009 the UK government submitted a bovine
tuberculosis (TB) Eradication Plan for 2010 to the ...
(WILDLIFE) In an effort to prevent the spread of Bovine
Tuberculosis (BTb) to domestic cattle, the UK Government
has decided to allow badger killings for ...
Animal diseases to be notified to your local AHVLA can be
“endemic” (those which are already present in the UK, such as
Bovine TB), “exotic” (those that are not ...
An interesting site with useful and interesting discussions on the
subject of bovine TB. It is regularly updated.
Tuberculosis is a disease which affects the lungs and causes
breathing problems and general deterioration in health of an
animal. Importantly, there are ...
Bovine tuberculosis (TB) Please select the version you
require: England ; Scotland (available shortly) Wales; What happens
if bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been ...
Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of cattle and one of the
biggest challenges facing the cattle farming industry today, particularly in the
west and south west of England. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium
bovis (M. bovis), which can also infect and cause TB in badgers, deer,
goats, pigs, camelids (llamas and alcapas), dogs and cats, as well as many other
Badgers - a cull the answer?
Chris Littlejohn, a wildlife photographer from
Shropshire, has been filming badgers for around 20 years. Chris has strong
feelings about the role badgers play in the spread of bovine TB. Have your
say at the bottom of this article.
The government's Chief Scientist Sir David King has put the thorny and
emotive issue of badger culling back in the headlines, advising that killing
badgers in some areas could help prevent the spread of bovine TB. He
suggested that killing badgers could be effective in areas that could be
contained, such as by the sea or motorways. Sir David King's report follows
a previous study that suggested that culling badgers would be ineffective at
reducing the spread of bovine TB.
"I don’t feel that removing one of the most special animals in the
British countryside is a good way forward in trying to solve this complex
Chris disputes that killing badgers will end the 'crisis', "It still
hasn't been proved that by culling badgers you're solving the cattle TB
problem... I don't feel that removing one of the most special animals in the
British countryside is a good way forward in trying to solve this complex
The Krebs report
In 2005, Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said TB was at "crisis
levels" with 22,705 cattle slaughtered in 2004 compared with 599 in 1986.
Both badgers and cattle have been shown to carry bovine TB and there has
been much debate around the transmission of the disease between the two
In 1996, Professor John Krebs led an independent review on behalf of the
government looking at the transmission of bovine TB between badgers and
cattle. The report concluded that 'the sum of evidence strongly supports the
view that, in Britain, badgers are a significant source of infection in
However, the Krebs report acknowledged that more data was required
and recommended a limited badger culling trial.
The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) was set up to oversee
and monitor the culling experiment. ISG's final report will be published in
2007. However, interim analysis published in October 2005 concluded that:
'reactive culling as performed in the randomised badger culling trial cannot
contribute constructively to the control of bovine TB in Britain'.
The badger culling trial suggested that, while there was a fall in the
incidence of bovine TB within culling areas, there was an increase in the
surrounding areas. This ripple effect has been said to be due to badgers
around the culling area acquiring and spreading the infection further
The role played by badgers in spreading bovine TB is clearly a
complicated issue and one which provokes strong feeling on both sides of the
argument. Some claim that badgers do not pass on the disease while others
argue too few badgers have been killed to make any effect on levels of
With the government split, and campaigners like Chris fighting their
corner passionately, this theme is sure to last. The government ran a public
consultation on the culling of badgers for the control of bovine TB, which
closed on 10 March 2006.
you can protest at the bottom of
More results from en.wikipedia.org »
Mycobacterium bovis is a slow-growing (16 to 20 hour
generation time), aerobic bacterium and the causative
agent of tuberculosis in cattle (known as bovine
Bovine serum albumin, bovine albumin, BSA, also
known as "Fraction V", a ... Where does bovine
serum albumin come from?
UNITED STATES BOVINE T.B. CONTROL
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease of both animals and humans. It
is caused by three specific types of bacteria that are part of the
Mycobacterium group: Mycobacterium bovis, M. avium, and M. tuberculosis.
Bovine TB, caused by M. bovis, can be transmitted from livestock to humans
and other animals.
The cooperative Federal-State-Industry effort to eradicate bovine TB from
cattle in the United States has made significant progress since the
program’s inception in 1917. The disease has nearly been eliminated from the
livestock population of the United States. Many consider this one of the
great animal and public health achievements in the United States. However,
our ultimate goal of eradication remains elusive as animal health officials
continue to detect TB sporadically in livestock herds.
Bovine TB Factsheets
Surveillance and Testing
- If you suspect TB in your herd, you should isolate the affected
animal immediately and contact your veterinarian for the correct
diagnosis. To contact the Area Veterinarian in Charge for your State,
- Please submit your written comments about the current challenges and
new approaches for future TB control and eradication to
Welsh badger cull scrapped in favour of vaccination
Farmers and unions have described the decision not to
cull as a betrayal
The Welsh government has
dropped plans to cull badgers as part of an attempt to wipe out bovine TB in
Environment Minister John Griffiths said he had instead opted to
vaccinate the animals after carefully considering the scientific evidence.
A review of the science involved in controlling bovine TB was
commissioned after last year's assembly elections.
The Farmers' Union of Wales attacked a "cowardly betrayal", while the
RSPCA said it was "delighted and relieved".
The previous government had planned a pilot cull of badgers in west
But Mr Griffiths revealed on Tuesday that he was scrapping the plan,
saying a five-year vaccination programme will start in the intensive action
area - the TB hotspot in north Pembrokeshire where the cull was due to take
His decision disappointed farming unions and Labour's political opponents
who strongly backed the cull.
Continue reading the main
Welsh badger cull: timeline
- April 2008: A targeted cull of badgers is
announced by the then coalition government between Plaid Cymru and
- March 2009: Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones
reveals the cull will take place in a TB hotspot in west Wales - the
intensive action area.
- January 2010: Ms Jones gives the final
go-ahead, almost two years after first revealing her plans.
- April 2010: The High Court says the cull order
is lawful, following a challenge by the Badger Trust.
- June 2010: The cull is quashed in the Court of
Appeal because the terms of the cull order apply to the whole of
Wales when the evidence of a consultation only supported a cull in
the intensive area.
- March 2011: The Welsh government revives plans
for a cull, eight months after it was shelved.
- May 2011: Labour promises a "science-led"
approach towards bovine TB at Welsh assembly elections.
- June 2011: The newly-elected Labour government
puts the cull on hold and commissions a review of the science.
Officials hope to start vaccinating within two to
Badgers will be trapped in cages and marked so they are not vaccinated
Other areas where vaccination might contribute to TB eradication will be
Mr Griffiths said he remained committed to eradicating a "terrible
disease" that had "devastating" consequences.
Deciding to cull would have to be justified on the basis that it was
necessary to substantially reduce bovine TB in cattle, he told AMs in the
"At present I am not satisfied that a cull of badgers would be necessary
to bring about a substantial reduction in cases of TB in cattle," Mr
It is understood ministers had advice that a cull might not survive a
legal challenge under the Animal Health Act 1981.
The cull was drawn up under the previous Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition
Welsh government. At last May's election, Labour said it would take a
science-led approach to the policy.
The previous government first announced a cull of badgers in April 2008,
but it was halted in the courts after an appeal by conservationists. The
plans were revived last March, before being put on hold by Labour when it
commissioned a scientific review.
Opponents have accused the minister of delaying since a 13-page report by
the review panel arrived on his desk in December.
Plaid's former Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who drew up the plans
for a cull, said: "Farmers will now have to decide how best to protect their
cattle and I for one would not blame them for anything they do."
Deputy minister for agriculture Alun Davies said her comments were
Farmers in the action area have been subject to a raft of extra controls
on their cattle since 2010, the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) said.
FUW TB spokesman Brian Walters said: "Those who have now gone back on
their words have not just betrayed farmers in north Pembrokeshire but the
industry as a whole. They should hang their heads in shame."
NFU Cymru deputy president Stephen James said the decision would leave
diseased badgers "continuing to roam the countryside infecting more cattle
with the disease for which there is yet no known cure".
Continue reading the main
End Quote Brian
It is now time for the British government to
wholeheartedly commit to a programme of vaccination”
British Veterinary Association president Carl
Padgett said it was a "political decision, rather than a scientific one",
that would "potentially set back our efforts to tackle this devastating
disease by many years".
Welsh Conservative rural affairs spokeswoman Antoinette Sandbach said the
minister had "hamstrung the eradication programme by abandoning culling,
despite voting in favour of that policy less than a year ago".
Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman William Powell said: "There will
continue to be a dangerous vacuum in this policy area which could be filled
by twilight operators and others who despair in the face of this devastating
Rock star Brian May, who has long campaigned against the cull plan, said
he was thrilled at the news.
"It is now time for the British government to wholeheartedly commit to a
programme of vaccination - the only route which can guarantee, long term,
the elimination of bovine TB from our British countryside," he said.
RSPCA Cymru external affairs manager Claire Lawson said badger
vaccination had already been shown to "significantly reduce the prevalence
and severity of disease in the badger population and could reduce the
potential for transmission of TB from badgers to cattle".
Campaign group Pembrokeshire Against the Cull said it was "delighted" by
a "brave decision" to reject culling.
In a statement, it said: "We are sure that there will be much relief,
especially from those worried about the potential impact on tourism from
culling, and cross-community support for this approach within the intensive
This blog continues on page 167
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