26 January 2015 | Online since 2003



19 July 2011|News

Liberal Democrat warns against badger culling


The Liberal Democrat’s Agriculture spokesman - Andrew George MP - has warned that the Government’s proposed badger culling ’pilots’ risk making animal disease worse.

The Government announces its plans to press ahead with its badger control measures today. They intend to commence with two pilot areas of at least 150 sq km in which at least 70% of the badger population would be killed by farmers and landowners licensed to use a method of ’controlled shooting’ - probably involving the employment of contractors.

Mr George said, "This is an untried and untested method. Controlling the Bovine TB epidemic is crucial for our farmers many of whom have had their herds devastated by this disease.

"However, this proposal seriously risks making the situation worse.

"In 2009 nearly 15% of herds in the south west were under Bovine TB restrictions. Across the UK over 25,000 cattle had to be slaughtered at a cost to the taxpayer of ’63 million. Each confirmed TB incident in cattle costs on average around ’30,000. ’20,000 falling on the Government. The rest on the farmer. Not only does it destroy the lives of cattle, but it devastates the lives and livelihoods of the farmers and their families.

"Let me make it clear, I am not squeamish about culling badgers, if that is what needs to be done. I supported the badger culling trials in my own constituency in the late 1990s. I faced strong opposition at the time, but believed then, as I do now, that the proper and effective control of this terrible disease had to be based on evidence based science.

"The Coalition Agreement promised a ’carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control’. But the scientists behind the extensive Government trials of the last decade and a half have criticised the policy saying that it ’can hardly claim to be based on scientific evidence’ (Lord Krebs).

"If the Government goes ahead with the pilots then they will have to make sure that they’re thoroughly and rigorously evaluated before rolling the project out. A decade ago it was failure to adopt effective cattle movement control measures when restocking after the foot & mouth outbreak that worsened the problem. Destabilising the settled badger population threatens to make the problem even worse.

"The Government correctly promises a ’package of measures’, but I don’t believe that this particular measure will help. Badger control may be necessary in some areas, but I don’t think this is the way of going about it."


Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


19 January 2015
Carer ( Personal Assistant - Health Care Assistant )
Due to the success of our recent recruitment campaign we only have one position left for a local Carer. Are you the Carer we ...

10 January 2015
HEAD CHEF - UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY - BRISTOL - COMPETITIVE SALARY
A proven knowledge of English continental cookery and methods along with an appreciation of farm to fork cookery - utilising ...

11 January 2015
HR Advisor
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced HR Assistant to join the HR team based at Primrose Hill Farm....

7 January 2015
M437 TRAINEE ARABLE AGRONOMIST - KENT & SUSSEX
Agriculture Graduate/HND with sound practical arable farming experience. We have an exciting new opportunity with a leading A...

13 January 2015
Senior Farm Ranger HCC1645051
Staunton Country Park is a popular visitor attraction with a thousand acre site, farm and gardens. You’ll be given overall re...




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...