Friday, 18 April 2008

We spoke too soon...

Despite the research mentioned in other posts showing that slaughtering badgers has minimal or no effect on TB in cattle, the Welsh Assembly [mis]Goverment has decided that they will go ahead and kill badgers anyway. This was decided last week, but debated in plenary this week.

Another example of a political decision being forced through despite scientific evidence to the contrary. The quotes below are from the plenary debate itself.
In the battle of the scientists—Sir David King versus Professor John Bourne—Bourne has stated that King’s report was hastily written, superficial and selective. Given the amount of work done by the Independent Scientific Group—which was over 10 years’ worth of research, costing anywhere between £35 million and £50 million and involving 11,000 dead badgers—and given that David King and his team only met for one full day and that he admitted that his remit did not extend to the economics or practicalities of badger culling, I know who my money is on.

In Northern Ireland—and you would expect me to say this, Minister—tighter cattle testing has halved the incidence of disease in three years. There was no badger culling but more robust data on individual cattle movements. I welcome the Minister’s proposal to test all cattle, but I am disappointed that it is just a one-off for all cattle.

In the Republic of Ireland, the virtual extermination of the badger has failed to control the disease and, after five years, from the information that I have read, the number of TB reactors remains about the same.
It seems that the Welsh Assembly Government are so cowed [sic] by the heavily-subsidised agriculture industry here that they are willing to go ahead with this brutal and costly plan.

Obviously it is worth writing to the Welsh Assembly Government to object. However, perhaps the most effective thing to do is to stop eating beef and dairy products. That way you can save badgers as well as cows, and be healthier too.

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