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2012 Badger Murder Plans

In the most ludicrous and misguided decision of recent years, the UK government has said that, from Autumn 2012,thousands of unfortunate badgers will be shot in an effort to reduce cattle numbers slaughtered because of bovine tuberculosis.

In the most ludicrous and misguided decision of recent years, the UK government has said that, from Autumn 2012,thousands of unfortunate badgers will be shot in an effort to reduce cattle numbers slaughtered because of bovine tuberculosis.

It is said that compensation costs to farmers, for slaughtered cattle would in the next decade run up to £1bn, though opponents argued instead for vaccinations. There is no doubt whatever that this decision will create big problems, protesters likely to target cull sites and use the courts to challenge the plans.

Considering that, in October just gone, over 100,000 people signed petitions opposing the plans, because a great strength of feeling exists on this issue, no one wanting to see a cull of badgers. The ridiculous thing is  that farmers will have pay part of the cull costs, achieving at best, a 16% reduction in cattle TB.

It is in fact highly likely that this ill-advised slaughter will simply exacerbate the problem, according to London Institute of Zoology badger ecologist Rosie Woodroffe, because Badger migration will dramatically increase as the killing progresses, and so ill the spread of the contagion.

Badger culling can only work if cost-effective, humane and shown to significantly reduce bovine TB, something that can hardly be known without years of study, during which those poor Badgers are being hunted down as vermin, when in fact they are anything but.

TB infected cattle that needed to be slaughtered, around 29,000 in 2010, cost the UK taxpayers £90M in compensation payments. Estimated cull costs – based on government proposals- have it that over 8 years it will cost farmers a total of £92m to slaughter the Badgers, FIVE times more than it would cost for vaccination research.

Badgers, which are thought to number around 200,000 in the UK, have been protected since the 1973 Badgers Act, as well as under European legislation, and to talk about deliberately reducing the numbers in the name of dubious benefits is truly criminal

An effective vaccination programme must offer considerably greater potential for finding publicly acceptable actions to address the bovine TB issue. As the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are already running separate vaccination trials, it could be that an oral vaccine for badgers may be available as soon as 2015, so why are the authorities so determined to ignore this possibility?  

There are far more of us in this country who are very disappointed by this decision than those in power might realize, and I am certain that we will all be doing everything we can to prevent this horrendous crime against wildlife going ahead. The name of the game these days, after all, is conservation, surely, a point which the government would be well advised to be more aware of.

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  1. This is horrible!!

  2. Bloody and somebody’s going to Hell, Wow

  3. I can see that logically it is a far more cost effective measure to kill the badgers than to destroy the cattle, however this decision is so wrong, if cattle numbers were to become low and beef was to become scarce (like cod) then the prices at the markets and in the shops would largely increase so the farmers or government would not be losing out, these plans could just force a species into extinction, they are probably hoping that because it is a nocturnal animal and not often seen by the public that no one cares!

  4. Good article!

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