Graham Allen MP will vote “no” to badger cull on wednesday
Graham Allen MP says:
“I have long opposed badger culling as a means of controlling Bovine TB as I believe this is environmentally unacceptable, barbaric and ineffective.”
“There is no doubt that the Government need to do something but they need to something which will work. This is simply a cheap sop to farmers which will not work and could easily make matters worse. It is an example of painting over the cracks when you have a serious subsidence problem.”
“Scientific and common sense opinion tells us that culling badgers in one area leads to infected badgers from adjacent areas migrating. This process is known as perturbation3 and can make matters worse by ensuring diseases, not just TB are introduced into a the recently culled areas.”
“The Labour Controlled Welsh Assembly announced in March 2012 that they would abandon the cull and instead use vaccination to control TB.1 The first phase of that 5 year program is now complete with over 1400 badgers vaccinated.2 Scientists are hopeful and encouraged that this will eliminate Bovine TB from Wales.
“Unless the proposal is to eliminate Badgers as a species culling will not stop the spread of TB.”
“Sir David Attenborough and Simon King, President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, have joined the mounting opposition to the Coalition Government’s proposed badger slaughter in England.4”
“I am aware of the concern expressed by many farmers and the National Farmers Union that the cost of carrying out culling could be as high as £2 million per area, which I think is a lot to ask when people are already seeing their incomes squeezed by rising fuel, feed and fertilizer prices.”
* There is no evidence that the badger population has increased since the last estimate in 1997.
* Britain enjoyed 20 years with about 1,000 cattle slaughtered annually. The number rose when testing was disrupted by BSE and foot and mouth, but for 16 years the industry stood out against pre-movement testing.
* Ten times as many cattle are killed for diseases other than bovine TB. Compensation is paid for the TB-infected cattle, but not for the others.
* In saying no other country had tackled TB without addressing wildlife Mr Paterson, his predecessor and the farming organisations have forgotten that the United Kingdom did so after World War II, bringing the cattle toll down from 47,476 to a low point of 628 in 1979, without killing badgers.
* The disease is not being “left unchecked”. A new range of long-awaited and overdue farm-based measures have finally been announced for next year.
* Marksmen shooting badgers at night will have to kill at least seven out of ten – but the Coalition has no idea how many badgers there are in the first place. Other species do not have to be culled to a specified minimum.
For more information see http://www.badgertrust.org.uk/Content/Home.asp
1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/20/badger-cull-wales-abandoned-vaccination 2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22369564