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Farming minister insists badger cull is needed

Farming minister insists badger cull is needed | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
NEW figures have shown that nearly 2,000 cattle were slaughtered in Gloucestershire last year as a result of bovine TB.Ministers have said the statistics showed the growing impact of the disease on...
Gordon McGlone's insight:

A need for action should not be equated with a need to cull badgers. The badger cull is becoming a distraction from the full 'tool box' that must be applied vigorously if the disease is to be controlled.  Top amongst these and the measure that is most unpopular with farmers is the reduction in cattle movements.  The insensitivity of the bovine TB skin test means that a proportion of animals from herds that are currently considered clear of bTB but that have had a pattern of breakdowns could be infected with the disease.


The most optimistic reading of the RBCT and ISG work showed that culling badgers MIGHT (if carried out to a standard that is practically almost impossible to achieve) reduce bTB by 12% to 16%.


A badger cull does not address the missing 84% of the problem.


Action is necessary; the badger cull is the wrong sort of action.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, March 15, 2013 7:15 AM

A need for action should not be equated with a need to cull badgers. The badger cull is becoming a distraction from the full 'tool box' that must be applied vigorously if the disease is to be controlled.  Top amongst these and the measure that is most unpopular with farmers is the reduction in cattle movements.  The insensitivity of the bovine TB skin test means that a proportion of animals from herds that are currently considered clear of bTB but that have had a pattern of breakdowns could be infected with the disease.


The most optimisitc reading of the RBCT and ISG work showed that culling badgers MIGHT (if carried out to a standard that is practically almost impossible to achieve) reduce bTB by 12% to 16%.


A badger cull does not address the missing 84% of the problem.


Action is necessary; the badger cull is the wrong sort of action.

Bovine TB, badgers and cattle
Politics, research and social impact
Curated by Gordon McGlone
http://www.gordonmcglone.co.uk
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Animal health: How to control bovine tuberculosis : Nature

Animal health: How to control bovine tuberculosis : Nature | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
A model of the transmission and spread of bovine tuberculosis in Britain suggests that controlling the epidemic will require large-scale cattle slaughter or a major rethink of combined control strategies.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Prof Robbie MacDonald's take on the Warwick University group's paper is an invaluable review of the scientific, sociological and policy implications of research that challenges the premiss that culling badgers can make a useful contribution to controlling bovine TB. 

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NI Badger Group Defends Badgers Against Bovine TB Claims | Down News

NI Badger Group Defends Badgers Against Bovine TB Claims | Down News | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
The NI Badger Group has issued a statement on Bovine TB and culling and has attacked "scaremongering" about Bovine TB. Peter Clarke, coordinator for the
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Despite assertions from farmers, vote hungry politicians and one biased vet, the badger cull pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset have not been proven to have reduced bovine TB in cattle in the cull areas.  How odd then that there is pressure from farmers in Northern Ireland to fly against the consensus bagdger for a Test, Vaccinate, Remove policy and to roll out an Ulster version of a badger cull omnishambles. 

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Bovine TB found in herd of welfare board chairman - Farmers Weekly

Bovine TB found in herd of welfare board chairman - Farmers Weekly | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Bovine TB has been found in the herd belonging to the chairman of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE). Michael Seals said one of his ei
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Bovine TB has hit one of the men working hard to secure a disease free national herd.  

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Badgers 'hit with spades' in attacks

Badgers 'hit with spades' in attacks | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Badgers were struck with spades during attacks on setts in the Peak District, a conservation group claims.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

The badger cull pilots have weakened perception of the legal status of badgers and their setts.  Incidents like this reveal and underlying disrespect for nature.

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Defra Ministers attack Labour over badger cull stance | News | Farmers Guardian

Defra Ministers attack Labour over badger cull stance | News | Farmers Guardian | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
DEFRA Ministers have accused their Labour counterparts of ignoring the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer as they clashed on the badger cull and hunting in the Commons.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

The politics of bovine TB.

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Badger cull has ended my 11-year bovine tuberculosis nightmare

Badger cull has ended my 11-year bovine tuberculosis nightmare | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
James Griffiths, of Tibberton, Gloucestershire, claimed his dairy herd was free of TB for the first time since 2004 because badgers carrying the disease had been killed in his area during culls.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Headline should have read:-

"Badger cull coincided with end of my 11-year bovine TB nightmare".

A coincidence is not proof of cause and effect.

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Badger culls would continue under new Tory government, Liz Truss says

Badger culls would continue under new Tory government, Liz Truss says | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Environment secretary tells National Farmers Union conference the policy to halt spread of bovine TB will be rolled out despite criticism of pilot culls
Gordon McGlone's insight:

A conservative government would role out further culls and the NFU is ready to go.  

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Farming News - Labour using badger cull as political football says NFU

Farming News - Labour using badger cull as political football says NFU | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
The Labour Party has made ending the pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire one of its six key pledges on animal welfare.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Snide accusations are a reflection of a narrow world view.

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Gloucestershire badger cull protesters call on Government to come clean on evidence of 'extensive and unlawful protest'

Gloucestershire badger cull protesters call on Government to come clean on evidence of 'extensive and unlawful protest' | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Protesters against the badger cull in Gloucestershire want the Government to come clean on its evidence of 'extensive and unlawful protest and intimidation'. Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting...
Gordon McGlone's insight:

I take the contrary view to DEFRA; it is very much in the public interest for the 'evidence' to be published.  But then again it might not be the sort of evidence that ministers want to be released.  Evidence that politicians have made unsubstantiated accusations and assertions would be a tad uncomfortable as May draws closer.

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MPs urge Defra to clarify plans for Gloucestershire badger cull

MPs urge Defra to clarify plans for Gloucestershire badger cull | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
MPS have called on Defra to clarify its plans for the continuation of badger culling in Gloucestershire after the second year of the pilot cull failed reach its target for badgers removed.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Gloucestershire's badger cull failed because it was not fit for purpose.  it did not significantly reduce badger numbers and there is no evidence that it has had any impact on bovine TB levels - good or bad.  There are more votes to be lost from a,badger cull policy than there are to be gained.  Politicians must  tread wisely - or is that a political oxymoron?

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Rare bovine TB outbreak hits Lincolnshire - Farmers Weekly

Rare bovine TB outbreak hits Lincolnshire - Farmers Weekly | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Up to 40 cattle have been slaughtered following a rare outbreak of bovine TB on a farm in Lincolnshire. The cattle tested positive for the disease in Octob
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Bovine TB is a disease of cattle primarily.  This outbreak serves to remind that uninfected wildlife can only be a vector if there is a disease burden in domestic livestock to begin the disease infection cycle.

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The death of Badger 41 - Badgergate

The death of Badger 41 - Badgergate | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
The independent experts' report on the 2013 badger culls confirms that free shooting as practiced in the culls was not a humane method of killing badgers. The story of Badger 41 illustrates why.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Badger 41 - a victim of the badger cull; inhumanely killed in the fields of Somerset.

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Badger cull didn't kill enough badgers to be effective

Badger cull didn't kill enough badgers to be effective | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
In the flurry of the holiday season, many people will have missed the government’s verdict on the 2014 badger culls, published on December 18. Farmers’ representatives have branded these recent culls “successful…
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Prof Rosie Woodruffe puts the case clearly and simply: the 2014 badger culls in both Gloucestershire and Somerset did not kill enough badgers to have an effect on levels of bovine TB in cattle.  


Prof Woodruffe also makes it clear that the failure of DEFRA to ensure adequate or independent monitoring of the culls calls any interpretation of data in support of future culling into question.

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Badgers TB vaccine: Cornwall expansion plans

Badgers TB vaccine: Cornwall expansion plans | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
A trial to give Bovine TB vaccines to badgers will expand after it was deemed a success by scientists in Cornwall.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

This is a well founded, scientifically designed example of leadership.  Rosie Woodroffe has used all of her research and field experience to get a large scale badger vaccination programme underway in Cornwall.

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Brian May and the badger cull: Science does not factor in parliamentary debate

Brian May and the badger cull: Science does not factor in parliamentary debate | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Brian May says scientific expert opinion is missing from debates in parliament.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Politics and science are not natural bedfellows in the current UK Parliament.  Evidence based decisions have been dumped in favour of shire politicians playing to the rural land managing vote.

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Liz Truss Meeting : Update - Badger Trust

Liz Truss Meeting : Update - Badger Trust | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it

Trust has followed up its meeting with the Secretary of State Liz Truss with a letter stressing the increased  levels badger crime.

Gordon McGlone's insight:

The Badger Trust has followed up its meeting with the Secretary of State Liz Truss with a letter stressing the increased  levels badger crime.


"Badger Cull

Dear Secretary of State

STATEMENT ON BADGER PERSECUTION AND WILDLIFE CRIME

During our meeting on Tuesday, 3rd March to discuss the government’s badger cull policy, you gave us an undertaking that your department would issue a statement condemning the illegal killing and persecution of badgers. To date we have not seen such a statement and are therefore concerned to know the reason for the delay.

As you are aware all badgers and their setts are fully protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Anyone who takes, kills or injures a badger, or who interferes with a badger sett, can be sent to prison for six months and/ or be fined up to £5,000.

We are particularly concerned that the pilot badger culls have caused a huge increase in illegal killing, something DEFRA’s own Risk & Issues Logs (RILs) clearly predicted. The Badger Trust Incidents Report, which compiles annual records from our supporters, general public, police and the RSPCA has shown a 116% increase from 323 persecution incidents in 2012 to 697 in 2013.

These incidents not only show a worrying escalation in the number of farmers and landowners willing to illegally kill badgers but also in the cruel methods used, such as by gassing, shooting, poisoning and snaring. The apparent legitimising of these abhorrent activities by the implementation of the government’s cull needs to be addressed immediately. 

These attacks have become a blight on our society and countryside, and we feel it very important that Government Ministers are seen to be leading the fight against wildlife crime, particularly the Secretary of State responsible for DEFRA. We shall put this letter in the public domain and look forward to seeing your response in the very near future."

Yours sincerely

 


Dominic Dyer
CEO Badger Trust


Contact:

Dominic Dyer  CEO Badger Trust  Tel: 07876 596233

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Labour claims scrapping badger cull would save £122m | News | Farmers Guardian

Labour claims scrapping badger cull would save £122m | News | Farmers Guardian | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
THE Labour Party has claimed it would make savings of £122.5 million over the course of the next Parliamet by scrapping the current Government’s badger cull policy.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Culling badgers is not cheap, or popular.  Continuing the cull policy will test conservative election candidates sorely.

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Badger cull licence revoke 'threat'

Badger cull licence revoke 'threat' | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
The Gloucestershire licence to shoot badgers could be revoked if cull numbers don't "improve significantly", the Badger Trust says.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Natural England has given GlosCon (interesting name that) a bad end of year report.  Strangely GlosCon denies culpability and has blamed others for their inadequacy whilst claiming that a farcical badger cull has transformed bovine TB control For the better.

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Farmers determined to begin badger cull roll out - Raymond | News | Farmers Guardian

Farmers determined to begin badger cull roll out - Raymond | News | Farmers Guardian | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
FARMERS are determined to commence badger culling in new areas this autumn, NFU president Meurig Ryamond has insisted, after Liz Truss confirmed Conservative support for further roll out
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Rural myth over peer-reviewed science; that's the NFU way.

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Vets' data suggests reduction in TB cases in cull zones - Farmers Weekly

Vets' data suggests reduction in TB cases in cull zones - Farmers Weekly | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Data complied by vets in the pilot badger cull areas has suggested a dramatic reduction in cases of bovine TB since culling began. Information from two vet
Gordon McGlone's insight:

This is a data set collected under veterinary practice conditions, from a small sample of farms.  It is not a statistically balanced or scientifically designed study.  Interpret with care.

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Labour pledges to end ‘inhumane and ineffective’ badger culls | News | Farmers Guardian

Labour pledges to end ‘inhumane and ineffective’ badger culls | News | Farmers Guardian | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
THE Labour Party has formally committed to ending what it describes as the ‘inhumane and ineffective’ English badger culls as part of a wider set of manifesto commitments on animal welfare.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

It is in no-ones interest for an animal disease to have become part of a political scrap but that is increasingly likely as the General Election.  Accusations of Labour 'Playing to the gallery' will be amongst the mildest of the rebukes aimed at them from the farming side of the debate.

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Wales gets millions of pounds to fight bovine TB - Farmers Weekly

Wales gets millions of pounds to fight bovine TB - Farmers Weekly | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Wales is to get a share of million of pounds of European money to help shoulder the cost of bovine TB testing and compensation paid to farmers. The EU Comm
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Europe has agreed to support Wales' badger cull free bovine TB eradication programme.

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'I would stop the badger cull', says Ed Miliband

'I would stop the badger cull', says Ed Miliband | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has been on the campaign trail in Gloucestershire, ahead of the General Election.

He took part in a question and answer session at the Subscription Rooms in Stroud.

One of the issues tackled was the badger cull in the county which took place just a few miles away. He promised it would stop under a Labour government.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Politics, not science and common sense, seems to be the key to bringing the badger cull fiasco to a necessary but messy end.

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Activist gets six-month suspended jail sentence for disrupting badger culls

Activist gets six-month suspended jail sentence for disrupting badger culls | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Jay Tiernan of Stop the Cull campaign found in contempt of court for nine breaches of an injunction brought in by the National Farmers’ Union
Gordon McGlone's insight:

"Tiernan, who is based in the south-west of England, said he was “flabbergasted’ that he had received such a heavy sentence. “I was in the British army when I was a teenager,” he said. “I believed that England was a place where we had rights and freedom. All I have done is try to illuminate something I believe is wrong."


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Party leaders urged to come clean over badger cull

Party leaders urged to come clean over badger cull | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
Badger Trust chairman Dominic Dyer is challenging every political party in Britain to reveal its policy on the badger cull ahead of the general election.
In an exclusive interview with the Western...
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Clarity over future political policy on culling badgers is needed.  The science does not support culling as a cost effective bovine TB management tool and the 'cut price' NFU led pilots (which have cost the tax payer a stack of cash covering their inept operations) have been dismal failures at every level.

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How do you vaccinate a badger?

How do you vaccinate a badger? | Bovine TB, badgers and cattle | Scoop.it
BBC Inside Out follows the badger vaccination team in Cornwall as they test whether vaccination could be an effective alternative to culling.
Gordon McGlone's insight:

Badger vaccination is an important affordable tool in the control and management of bovine TB.


MPs and farmers should pay attention to the facts and put the anecdote and spin aside.  Rosie Woodruffe is both academically and practically grounded in the science and practicalities of badger vaccination. This promises to be a very important source of accurate unembellished information.

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