News Comments
28-07-2014 09:26 AM
Accept neonicotinoid ban, Defra warned
28-07-2014 10:03 AM | Posted by John Evans
How outrageous that Defra should rely on the research of a manufacturer,such as Syngenta,to determine whether it is safe to use a product in the environment when there is so much evidence as to its harm.
I fully support Joan Walley's initiative and hope the UK Government comes to its senses and frees itself of big business domination.
24-07-2014 11:32 AM
BVA will support second year of badger cull pilots in England
24-07-2014 12:21 PM | Posted by Roger Broad
I would like to see the evidence to support targeted humane killing of Badgers as any method of achieving a reduction of BTB in Cattle. When Wales has achieved that reduction without killing Badgers. And Warwick University reports from research the minimal role of Badgers. But the significant Cattle to cattle spread from the ineffective Cattle test. And lack of Cattle Vaccination programme. It is clear that at this point DEFRA will indicate its super new shooting skills.An talk about Independent monitoring . But hopefully not as independent as Natural England . LOL And how many Badgers will test positive for BTB. if again last years Post Mortem detail is carried out once more.Politics, smoke and mirrors once more.
24-07-2014 12:41 PM | Posted by Clued-Up
The question of who monitors / audits the badger cull is extremely important. Whether the contractors and shooters abide by the conditions they've agreed to depends on both the quality of the monitoring / auditing process and whether the supervising body instantly stops further participation in the cull by any individual or organisation in breach of the conditions.

The IEP Report showed clearly that Natural England FAILED COMPLETELY to uphold its licencing conditions. The shooters ignored NE requirements on where to shoot the badgers; there was fraud (eg the deep-frozen badger submitted as a freshly shot animal); essential documentation to control the project wasn't completed by the shooters; unauthorised, untrained shooters took part in the cull; and shooters resisted monitoring by the official monitors. Natural England proved itself to be a totally unfit body to manage the cullers.

Further IEP input, strengthened sufficiently to stop future breaches of licencing conditions, is the best guarantee of acceptable behaviour by the cullers.
24-07-2014 17:33 PM | Posted by reg pollard
these vets want to make up their minds,the badger cull is either humane or it isn't,and it has been proved beyond any doubt that it is not,as far as skilled marksmen are concerned if they can hit a barn door from 2 feet with a shot gun they are in natural England and deathras opinion marksmen.
25-07-2014 13:54 PM | Posted by R Mount
Assuming that badgers need to be culled, why are we choosing to shoot them (which naturally has to be done at night)?
Surely a more humane and effective method would be to use lethal doses of anaesthetic gas whilst all the badgers are holed up in their setts during the day?
Whilst trying to pander to all interested parties, we seem to have arrived at a singularly unsatisfactory and ineffective culling method. Either do a proper job or don't bother at all.
25-07-2014 23:52 PM | Posted by Nigel
I will be contacting my vet on Monday to ask if they are members of the BVA - if they are I will take my business elsewhere. I urge every other moral consumer to use their buying power to oppose this inhumane, unscientific and unnecessary slaughter of our wildlife.
26-07-2014 17:22 PM | Posted by reg pollard
Nice one Nigel,i will be doing the same thing,hitting them in the pocket is where it hurts,i would also ask people to boycott dairy products and British beef i have been boycotting them since last year,talking to a vet this week who is against the cull he said Bva have to make it look like they support farmers,all about money,so well done Nigel,boycott boycott boycott!
26-07-2014 17:32 PM | Posted by reg pollard
Badger friends' we talk about boycotting,what about Nfu mutual insurance etc.,cancel All products immediately hit them where it hurts,boycott all businesses that support the badger cull.
27-07-2014 09:10 AM | Posted by Clued-Up
Email sent last week to BVA: "I was pleased to see the BVA has achieved some important changes in principle as regards the 2nd year of the badger cull (eg no use of shotguns). I’m concerned about two matters in particular, however, and would appreciate receiving answers on both from BVA.

The first issue is that the Warwick model provides strong proof that a combination of cattle measures alone will defeat bTB in cattle (and that nothing else will). The researchers have worked with what badger information is available (lumped under the general heading of environmental challenge) and they conclude – even more strongly than previous researchers – that killing badgers doesn’t reduce cattle bTB. How can BVA support the local destruction of populations of legally protected, much valued wild animals knowing their slaughter won’t achieve its alleged aims?

Has BVA talked to the researchers producing the Warwick model please? If the quality of the data linking badgers to cattle bTB is as poor as they say it is, then that data has not been good enough to support any of the badger killing done over the last 20 years, let alone to justify the 2nd year of the cull.

The BVA should have enough skilled scientists amongst their membership to talk productively with the researchers who analysed the many years of data used to create the Warwick model. I’d suggest the right way forward is for the BVA’s management board to ask for a report back from those veterinary scientists concerning whether recent research entirely removes any justification for killing badgers as a cattle bTB control measure. In Tudor times, it was a legal requirement to beat cattle unmercifully on their way to market in order to tenderise the meat; the quality of thinking supporting the badger cull seems to be similarly irrational and unethical.

The second issue relates to independent oversight of the badger cull. It’s only thanks to the IEP Report we found out that the shooters and culling companies flouted many of the licencing conditions they had agreed to, also that Natural England completely failed to uphold the licencing conditions they’d set. As the shooters and culling companies paid so little heed to their obligations when they knew they’d be subject to IEP oversight, exactly what independent oversight arrangements is BVA insisting on to ensure the 2nd cull is more humane, effective and safe? I struggle to think of any organisation except last year’s IEP that would have any public credibility as a provider of oversight for the badger cull.

The government suggests Natural England could perform this oversight role, however the IEP report showed the culling companies and shooters ignored the commitments they’d given to Natural England and Natural England took no action against them.

I look forward to hearing BVA’s responses to the issues I’ve raised."
27-07-2014 15:23 PM | Posted by reg pollard
has anyone any idea of how many badgers will be killed in the culls this year or is it going to be 70% of badgers population in these areas and if so do any of these clever politicians or so called experts have any idea of what figure 70% will be and what about all the healthy badgers that will be killed, which will well out number infected badgers,suppose that doesn't matter if you are a farmer or land owner or politician and how long will culling last this year, 6 weeks or 3months like last fiasco,badger friends just remember these culls come May 2015.
23-07-2014 15:54 PM
Maris otter barley, the secret plot for quality
24-07-2014 11:04 AM | Posted by james keith
Amazing to think that some maltsters wanted to give it up a few years ago!
22-07-2014 16:46 PM
Broiler farmer tours Europe in a chicken suit
23-07-2014 23:14 PM | Posted by Louise and Laurie Jacob
Good luck on your fabulous quest Tasmin. Congratulations on your initiative. Let's hope your efforts bring about the change that needs to happen. All the best from Merrijig, Australia.
18-07-2014 11:19 AM
Bovine TB rates fall to lowest in 10 years
18-07-2014 16:04 PM | Posted by reg pollard
here we go again,new environmental secretary same script,this government & NFU only listening to 1 scientist and he belongs to Deathra,so tells these morons what they want to hear,just hell bent on slaughtering badgers,regardless of overwhelming evidence against the cull.these people just don't listen to common sense.
18-07-2014 21:33 PM | Posted by reg pollard
some people are so stupid its unbelievable,just read an article from this Morón from Somerset who lives on edge of culling areas and has made a statement saying "hedgehog's have made a miraculous recovery & their numbers increased dramatically since last year cull of badgers,anyone with half a brain cell knows the reason hedgehog's are in decline is because of Man,farmers and land owners using pesticides, & number of hedgehogs killed on roads,so please don't try and insult intelligent people with such idiotic statement's.
18-07-2014 10:32 AM
Public urged to help support our bees’ needs
22-07-2014 09:02 AM | Posted by Cynth Spanner
I have been wondering how the farmers were feeling over this problem. The fact that the pesticides are responsible for so much damage according to mounting evidence. Huge loss of habitat too. Who checks the safety of the Pesticides?
I have great sympathy for the farmers & I am sure the public will help & how great it would be if we all worked together to secure the future for all of us.
We could come up with some good ideas, rather too much than not enough! We do need a strong plan that is robust, honest & independent.
15-07-2014 17:05 PM
Farmers hit out at Tesco over New Zealand lamb
16-07-2014 10:36 AM | Posted by RuGranger1
Well done waitrose,Putney branch. They stock West country and Welsh lamb on the counter and Welsh and British in the chiller. Today, no NZ Lamb!
16-07-2014 14:14 PM | Posted by debbie lewis
why cant we just have British, we are cruel enough to animals to fill our greedy belly's
16-07-2014 21:54 PM | Posted by James price
Just visited my local tesco and in the frozen section they have a frozen leg of lamb labeled. ' produced in the UK using lamb from Australia and New Zealand !!! How misleading!!!
17-07-2014 21:22 PM | Posted by Margaret light
Tesco have lost my custom completely I never buy supermarket meat but with horse meat and halal meat not being labelled they are disgusting. All they care about is profit and not the customer. Shame on you tesco fair trade for farmers. British farmers!!!
15-07-2014 14:44 PM
The importance of land supply - does the public understand the crisis?
15-07-2014 16:25 PM | Posted by Boyd
A scheme to provide energy free housing for elders in the towns and free up half price housing for the youngers.

Also saves land from being built on so we get to eat food.
15-07-2014 12:47 PM
Boris Johnson calls for landowner shale rights
15-07-2014 14:42 PM | Posted by annon
i'm against fracking and this is such a better idea than removing the right for homeowners to refuse companies from fracking under their homes
15-07-2014 14:45 PM | Posted by NO TO FRACKING
So far as adjoining landowners are concerned, under whose land gas or oil is to be extracted, it is arguable that the drilling process (but not the extraction) is a trespass. This gives adjoining landowners the possibility of frustrating the whole process. This may soon change if proposed Government legislation is enacted.
Whilst at present oil companies need to secure an access licence from the landowner, they are not obliged to pass on the income from fracking or pay a level of compensation which would make it commercially attractive to landowners.
15-07-2014 15:37 PM | Posted by Simon Turner
Boris's suggestion will pit neighbour against neighbour and, due to human greed make large scale fracking more likely.
15-07-2014 16:27 PM | Posted by Boyd
A scheme to provide energy free housing for elders in the towns and free up their homes to be renovated for half price housing for the youngers.

So less fracking gas needed.

Also saves land from being built on so we get to eat food.
15-07-2014 17:05 PM | Posted by iang
The UK needs the gas and the jobs. It does need to be done properly though.
15-07-2014 18:43 PM | Posted by Smokin Fish
Fracking Poisons the land and water table. Fills everywhere full of leaking methane that they admit they can't capture all of, and disturbs RADON. Not to mention the colossal waste of fresh water and nuclear waste. Millions of gallons. Your property will also become worthless, or at least worth less.
19-07-2014 12:03 PM | Posted by Maria
Forget fracking renewable is the way forward.
Too much risk of environmental damage and pollution with fracking just need to look at the problems all coming to light go America and Canada. Leaky wells after use. Too much water needed for the process when we already have drought issues and regular hosepipe bans. Carcinogenic risks to health. Earthquakes. Why on earth would you risk damaging your farmland and affecting its sale value?
19-07-2014 14:42 PM | Posted by Julia Taylor
UK farmers and land owners have only to look at what has happened in America to be able to make an informed decision, based on facts and real life experience rather than vacuous assurances and promises, as to whether or not they want:

1)this level of irreversible pollution of their water, air and soil
2)water shortages
3)industrialisation of their land
4)heavy vehicle traffic and resulting damage to roads
5)reduction in the value of their property
6)earth tremor damage
7)inability to get insurance cover for their property
8)very real risks of fires and explosions at various stages of the operation (well head and transporting liquid gas by road or train, etc)
9)huge liability as a taxpayer and as the landowner for trying to clear up the damage when the drilling companies are long gone (but the damage will, in fact, be irreparable)
10)living with radioactivity and methane leaks in their surroundings, plus other unknown toxic chemicals - as drilling companies maintain that they cannot reveal what chemicals they use because they are their industrial 'secret ingredients'.

At least, with Boris' plan landowners would be able to negotiate an astronomical compensation package from the drilling companies - which might bear some proper market relation to the scale of damage they will sustain to their land and its future use/loss of future income - and would be able to make their individual choice as to whether that is a price worth accepting and paying.

This is in marked contrast to the current proposals which would strip all property owners of any rights to any say in the matter or to any compensation for the destruction of their property and way of life.

Making energy companies pay the true cost of their activities in this way would, of course, reveal the truth that fracking is completely economically unviable. Even in America, where regulations and safeguards have been notoriously lax, these companies are getting into serious financial difficulties and debt.

All this is, of course, not to mention the climate damaging impact of the methane, which has far more impact even than CO2 emissions on climate change and the costs and problems that brings with it.
19-07-2014 16:21 PM | Posted by pauline
Fracking must NEVER happen in the UK - Germany and France have both banned it for very good reason. UK politicians and their wealthy friends in high places have very vested interests going on here that Cameron thought he could quietly and quickly sneak through while no one noticed - WRONG!! With climate change a very real threat to our planet any resources need to go into clean renewables - wind, wave and solar, not into more dirty fossil fuels. I strongly believe and hope that the UK public are not stupid enough to let this happen, but instead have learned from the huge problems now being seen all over the USA as a result of indiscriminate fracking. IT CAN NEVER BE UNDONE.
19-07-2014 18:56 PM | Posted by jo
greed is good eh? We've got to get these looters and climate change deniers out of power, or we are certainly doomed.

The future could be brighter with better leadership and a proper grasp of how to face up to climate change. A huge renewables industry could be kickstarted in this country -creating thousands of jobs, reducing our carbon and creating energy security.
Kick out the dinosaur tory looters for a brighter future, and vote green.
19-07-2014 19:46 PM | Posted by Lynne cooper
20-07-2014 10:50 AM | Posted by jobo
This is exactly what's happened in Queensland Australia isn't it? Huge areas of farmland destroyed because of greed and selling out to the unconventional gas company BG. Brian Monk stands against them, remaining practically alone and surrounded by gas fields with his land and water poisoned. Have a look at Brian's youtube videos here: and Brian's facebook page is public if you want to see what's going on there.
15-07-2014 10:19 AM
Paterson sacked as Defra Secretary in cabinet reshuffle
15-07-2014 15:28 PM | Posted by Clued-Up
Liz Truss has the intellectual background to understand what is evidence and evidence-based policy - and what is mere personal prejudice.

It's to be hoped that she'll apply her intelligence and kill off the badger cull at the very first opportunity.

The Warwick model is yet another piece of major research proving conclusively the way to stop cattle bTB is through cattle and farm management measures (eg targeting action on the 10% bTB "super spreader" farms, introducing cattle vaccination, moving to at least bTB annual skin tests nationally, etc). The Warwick model confirms yet again badgers are almost entirely irrelevant to the spread of cattle bTB.

The badger cull has been a waste of £10,000,000 (much of it the tax-payers' money).

As an Economist, Liz Truss understands how models like the Warwick model can point to the most effective ways of solving complex problems. Hopefully she'll be much more willing to listen to informed advice than Paterson ever was.
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