Wales consultation on TB eradication (including badgers)
Urgent - responses due back by 10th Jan
The Welsh Government is consulting on bovine TB. Seems that they are proposing a regional approach, and although it's hard to tell from the document, possibly badger killing. Ceredigion is affected - as are all areas - by the consultation. Please read and respond to the Government.
There's lots of useful info on our site, tagged under "badgers".
Some of our thoughts on what they should do:
- Take a science-led, sensible, and practical decision on bovine TB. No killing of badgers - instead opt for tighter cattle measures and/or vaccination. Listen to all the people of Wales who were against the culling of a protected species, rather than a vested-interest minority.
- The tighter cattle control measures already have a positive impact on reducing TB incidences in the hotspot areas, and a new vaccine programme would hopefully mean the issue of bovine TB could be tackled in a sensible, legal, scientific and practical manner. Unfortunately the negative reactionary response from some farmers (apart from all those who actually were against the cull), jeopardises the scientific approach. Farmers can 'best protect' their cattle by employing proper bio-security measures, good animal husbandry, not swapping tags on infected cattle (as has been found has happened in Wales), and by respecting the wildlife and the countryside.
- It is high time to stop arguing about wasting time and money on trying to kill off badgers in the hope of a comparatively tiny benefit over a nine-year period. We need effective registration controls, reduced transport of cattle, and an end to farmers trying to evade them. Firm controls worked supremely well in the past, bringing the annual cattle toll to as low as 628 in 1979. The annual total remained at about 1,000 a year for 20 years - and the 11-year reactive badger culling programme during that time had no effect overall.
- Ideally: stop having intensive dairy farming.
- Also: vaccinate the cows if it is a problem - and easy way to solve it. Treat cows affected by TB, don't kill them. How can you get a healthy herd if they're never given a chance to develop natural immunities?
- Bear in mind that TB does not need to be eradicated. The cattle can be treated. It is not being raised as "an issue" because of anything to do with animal welfare - bovine TB is curable and preventable in most cases - it is to do with making maximum profit from the dairy cows, and being able to sell the meat abroad. Maximising profit shouldn't have any bearing on the issue.
- Don't kill badgers or any other wildlife, in any of the areas.
- Speak to wildlife conservation organisations - they've given the Government the right answers many times already. Just act on what wildlife conservationists say, rather than holding endless consultations.