Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Local event against the badger cull

Saturday 24th April at 2pm, Old College.

With Dr Dan Forman from Swansea University, Lizzie Wilberforce from Welsh Wildlife Trust and possibly local Green party parliamentary candidate Leila Kirsch.


Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) has announced a badger slaughter for West Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government is refusing to listen to scientific opinion and is pressing ahead with a badger cull in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion - obviously the coalition parties (Plaid Cymru and Labour) are chasing the farming vote and making Government decisions for party political reasons. The largest ever scientific study into the spread of bovine TB categorically stated that “badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.” The ISG found that weaknesses in cattle testing and the movement of cattle (110 million in the UK since 1998) were the keys to the spread of TB. The ISG report consisted of over 10 years’ worth of research and cost between £35 million and £50 million and involving 11,000 dead badgers.

The Judicial Review brought by Badger Trust has just decided that the cull is legal. There will be annual culls over a five year period, starting in the next few weeks. Badgers are a protected species under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, but unfortunately they are not protected against misguided and heartless government officials and the powerful farming lobby.

For more information see the Badger Trust and Local badger group sites.

Action is needed now!

The Welsh Assembly Government and Plaid Cymru should be ashamed of themselves. They seem determined to keep Wales as Europe's sickly baby by basing a chunk of their economy around EU subsidies. That is the main reason behind their forthcoming slaughter of Wales' wildlife: so that they can tell Europe they have 'done something' about the spread of TB caused by their poor management, movement of cattle, intensive farming and refusal to use the TB vaccine (since then they would not be able to export meat to Europe). ScapeBadger indeed.

The general public are against this hypocritical and wasteful wildlife slaughter - even most people in a recent BBC Countryfile badger-cull poll (who might be expected to be pro-cull) were against killing badgers: 2,810 voters stuck up for badgers (79% of the votes, i.e. 4 in 5 people). This slaughter is being led by a misguided minority, and in the process they bring Wales into disrepute.

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