"The government has decided against a cull of badgers in England to control TB in cattle, the BBC understands."We have covered the subject of badger culls a number of times (see the topic listing on the right). Currently Wales is going ahead with a mass cull; whereas according to the news item above, England will not be doing so, which is excellent news.
From the BBC Website.
Any sane person would be extremely unhappy with the decision by the Welsh Assembly Government to kill badgers, despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary. Obviously some people here make decisions based on politics and votes, not good science (Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs, and supporter of badger-killing, can be emailed here).
Brown bear - persecuted then made extinct in the UK by humans
Humans have driven all the large UK mammals to extinction (brown bears, grey wolves, grey whales, Lynx, boar etc); persecuting badgers and foxes implies we haven't learnt from the lessons of the past. At least England has decided not to cull badgers, which is a positive and civilised step.
Grey whale - persecuted then made extinct in the UK by humans
Ministers accepted the scientific arguments of the Independent Scientific Group [ISG] on TB in Cattle. The ISG's analysis was the largest study ever done on this subject, and concluded that culling badgers would not be economic. The prominent scientist Lord Krebs said: "It's not practical to carry out that kind of scorched-earth cull over a prolonged period for a policy that may not even work." According to Lord Krebs TB can be brought under control through better surveillance and biosecurity, rather than culling (killing).
Lynx - persecuted then made extinct in the UK by humans
The National Farmers' Union [NFU] has shown its usual hypocrisy here. The NFU's Mr Kendall said, "If we can't make difficult, disease-related decisions, based on science, we are in a mess." Yet the most in-depth and complete scientific study, as shown above, was not in support of culling. Mr Kendall should follow his own suggestion and make decisions "based on science".
Grey wolf - persecuted then made extinct in the UK by humans
The NFU claims cattle TB has already cost the industry millions - of course, it is only a concern as long as humans continue to see other mammals (such as cattle) as property and income in this way. If the UK stopped exploiting cattle by eating meat and dairy products, and stopped creating super herds where disease can spread, then there wouldn't be a problem.
If you love badgers - go vegan!
Later edit: as the letter below from the 'Cambrian News' (17 July 08) shows, a lot of people are annoyed by the Welsh decision to kill badgers.