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Badger cull in England

Last post Sat, Oct 26 2013 12:39 by ploughshare. 436 replies.
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  • Fri, Jul 8 2011 9:11

    Badger cull in England

    Seems it could be just days before a badger cull is given the go-ahead in England. 

    Know there's a thread about what's happening (or not happening!) in Wales, but thought it was worth starting one re the situation in England.

    Here's one of the latest FWi news stories.

    Groups opposed to the cull, meanwhile, are also upping the ante.

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Tue, Jul 12 2011 13:16 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Dear Lord Crebbs ,are you from the same planet as the rest of us . How on earth do you keep cattle away from badgers . Have you no practical sense on how this is so far from possible . All fences would need to be netted below ground , solid field gates  etc etc etc . Badgers are bold enough to walk into farm yards and eat the feed from troughs. The increase in maize use has created a feed source for them in abundance . The idea of a vaccine only creates yet another operation and welfare issue for the cattle and the farmer. And much like the blue tongue farce an opurtunity for vaccine makers to whip a price frenzy into place, only then to find that in 5years time its not quite working as well on that particular strain of tb . 

    A one off cull that targets every badger in an infected area. Specifically leaving the counties that have had no reactors. Nature would allow these badgers to slowly repopulate the country over the next 10- 15 years.

  • Tue, Jul 12 2011 13:58 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Krebs is widely reported as saying a badger cull will only reduce the incidence of TB by 15%. Assuming that Krebs is correct (and I acknowledge that after his previous mishandling of the TB trials thats quite an assumption) its difficult to see how the Environment minister can give the go ahead for the cull without committing political suicide.

    And the anti-farmer sentiments that an ineffectual cull will create in the wider population won't do much for the standing of farmers either.

    Its very frustrating that a vaccine is not available. Does anyone know why its proving so difficult to develop an effective vaccine?

  • Tue, Jul 12 2011 19:31 In reply to

    • Sparrow
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    There is a vaccine that works to a degree, its the same one as for Humans but it is not licensed for use in cattle, but if you vaccinate it has to be done with EU approval or else you have no chance of any exports or trade.
  • Tue, Jul 12 2011 21:01 In reply to

    • Swagger
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    Sparrow:
    There is a vaccine that works to a degree, its the same one as for Humans but it is not licensed for use in cattle, but if you vaccinate it has to be done with EU approval or else you have no chance of any exports or trade.
     

    I didn't think that any approval process was available, because the required tests cannot distinguish between animals that have TB and those which have been vaccinated against it.

  • Tue, Jul 12 2011 21:38 In reply to

    • Owd Fred
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    Swagger:

    Sparrow:
    There is a vaccine that works to a degree, its the same one as for Humans but it is not licensed for use in cattle, but if you vaccinate it has to be done with EU approval or else you have no chance of any exports or trade.
     

    I didn't think that any approval process was available, because the required tests cannot distinguish between animals that have TB and those which have been vaccinated against it.

    Oh dear, its starting again, more jobs for the white collar brigade, more rules for us to toe the line, more expense, and more losses in the meantime.

    Bring back the old game keepers, they knew how many badgers their patch could sustain, culling is not extermination, its reducing the numbers to a sustainable level, and that should be done on a local level. 

    Just talk to them who used to do the job, badgers never went on the endanger list as far as I'm aware back then.

    Owd Fred
    http://yewsfarm.blogspot.co.uk/

    New book out -- The Longest Furrow ---

  • Wed, Jul 13 2011 13:27 In reply to

    • Peter Wells
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    Owd Fred :
    Bring back the old game keepers, they knew how many badgers their patch could sustain, culling is not extermination, its reducing the numbers to a sustainable level, and that should be done on a local level

    There is such a lot of wisdom in local people having a controlling influence on their own locale. In this country we really do have the balance wrong between the desire to treat everything on a national level, with all the concomitant centralisation, standardisation and bureaucracy, and localism with its down sides of ... There must be some but I can't think of any at the moment.

     

  • Wed, Jul 13 2011 14:01 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    I see a controversial Tory MP has been criticisised for suggesting that a badger cull would be a good idea because it would bring the price of shaving brushes down...

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Wed, Jul 13 2011 17:25 In reply to

    • Swagger
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    Re: Badger cull in England

     I'm not sure who's the bigger fool - the MP for saying such a stupid thing, or his critics for lacking a sense of humour.

  • Wed, Jul 13 2011 19:01 In reply to

    • henarar
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    • zumerzet

    Re: Badger cull in England

    It may well be true though

  • Fri, Jul 15 2011 13:49 In reply to

    • Farmtalking
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    Perhaps readers would like to check out some of the history of Sir John Krebs - http://www.warmwell.com/andersongroup.html

  • Fri, Jul 15 2011 14:33 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day
  • Fri, Jul 15 2011 15:35 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

  • Fri, Jul 15 2011 16:32 In reply to

    • Peter Wells
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    Re: Badger cull in England

    Tim.Relf:
    I see a controversial Tory MP has been criticisised for suggesting that a badger cull would be a good idea because it would bring the price of shaving brushes down... 

    I clicked the link and had a chuckle at the Wikepaedia link which listed all of the MP's so-called 'controversial' positions. Note: I have put the word controversial in ''   because the issues are defined as such only by people who, for their own reasons, wish to disparage views that do not accord with their own.

    I do not necessarily agree with all his views, but I do so enjoy seeing others squirm with discomfort when they are forced, through the act of reading, to confront ideas their own minds are not ready to consider.

    There is a group of people in this country who really do enjoy labelling any idea and any person with which they do not agree, Reactionary or Controversial.

    I take my hat off to anyone courageous (or silly) enough to deliberately enrage the santimonious piety of the liberal elite.

     

  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 10:12 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Caroline Spelman is set to make an announcement at 13:30 on Tuesday 19 July. The minister will set out plans to control bovine tuberculosis in England. It is thought that these plans will include proposals for a badger cull, possibly a pilot of free shooting in two hotspot areas. Press briefings are already underway.
    Visit our dedicated channel on bovine TB here. We have pulled together scientific papers a live feed, timeline, videos and an archive of tb stories.

    FW News Editor
  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 13:48 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    So Caroline Spelman has just announced a further nine-week consultation on the badger cull. Full story here: http://bit.ly/o6qIXB

    If you haven't already joined our live web chat, come by and join the discussion. Lots of views being aired (not to mention second-by-second updates from Caroline Stocks) http://www.fwi.co.uk/landing-page/livestock/badger-cull/webchat/



    In a nutshell:

    A country-wdie cull announcement is not being made today.

    Instead policy has changed since the TB consultation last year to include ‘free shooting’ as a method of badger culling.

    DEFRA’s launched a nine-week consultation on free-shooting as a method of control, and after that Mrs Spelman has said she is “strongly minded” to go ahead with two pilot cull areas – but only if the consultation is positive.

    The location of these areas is yet to be decided and will be set with the agreement of farmers. Once the pilot area culls have been completed they will assess the results and decide whether culling should be across a wider area.

    Deputy Community and Farmlife Editor at Farmers Weekly
  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 13:53 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Most people seem to be suggesting this is a step in the right direction, but if a cull isnt being kicked into the long grass, it still feels as though it might be in the shorter grass, which could still grow over the next nine weeks!?

     

     

  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 15:37 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    farmertp:
    Most people seem to be suggesting this is a step in the right direction, but if a cull isnt being kicked into the long grass, it still feels as though it might be in the shorter grass, which could still grow over the next nine weeks!?


    There's already a lot of talk about the nitty gritty of pilot cull locations (Spelman said it was largely a matter for the farming industry to decide) so it sounds like the grass would have to grow considerably in nine weeks if they are going to change their tune.

    Unsurprisingly we're hearing a lot of anger and disappointment from the Badger Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA and so on, but what are farmers' biggest concerns about the reality of a cull? The shooting? Time? Cost? Potential for more red tape? Public reaction?

    Deputy Community and Farmlife Editor at Farmers Weekly
  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 17:06 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    lt seems l cannot help with the cull, l am not 'trained' so would be unable to shoot a badger.

    Most other farmers would fit into that bracket as well, even if like me they have held a firearms cert for 30 odd years

     

  • Tue, Jul 19 2011 22:51 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    I have visited 2 farms today, both of whom have recently gone down with TB after many years of being clear. (There have been 70 NEW farms go down in Cornwall this year alone) In both these cases the ministry vet that visited was fully in favour of shooting. Quite a u turn for them from what I understand!

    "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs treat us as equals." (Sir Winston Churchill)
  • Wed, Jul 20 2011 11:07 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    This subject has become so mired that most people can't see the wood for the trees anymore.

    Think about it - why do we need to control bTB?

    Is it a danger to human health? - No because bTB stopped being a threat to human health when pasteurisation of milk was introduced in the 1930’s

    Is it an animal welfare issue? - No because clinical signs of the disease are practically non-existent in cattle, nor is there any evidence that the welfare of wildlife is seriously compromised

    Does meat from 'reactors' pose a risk? - No because meat from 'reactors' can still enter the food chain

    In other words, the disease itself isn't the problem. The only reason why there is such a palava is because of the rules imposed on the export of cattle which include restrictions on vaccinated stock.

    The solution is to narrow down the TB testing to only those cattle destined for export which gives us an option to vaccinate those cattle that remain here. This would allow unfettered trade within our shores and save a great deal of money overall.

    Face it - the badger is a scapegoat, a diversion which has masked the fact that market forces are driving this problem and the subject has spiralled away from reality. It's time to get a grip.

  • Wed, Jul 20 2011 11:31 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Eyeswideopen:
    The solution is to narrow down the TB testing to only those cattle destined for export which gives us an option to vaccinate those cattle that remain here.
     

    Unfortunately, milk from cattle which fail a skin test for TB is deemed not fit for human consumption, even if it is pasteurised or manufactured, and vaccinated cattle will fail the skin test, or the gamma test, so within the current regulations vaccination is not an option, even though us farmers would quite like it to be.

  • Wed, Jul 20 2011 15:04 In reply to

    • PhillUK
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    • Joined on Wed, Jul 20 2011

    Re: Badger cull in England

    If wants this done is sussex I am happy to do it PM me and I will send details, I can go further at cost.

    Phill

  • Wed, Jul 20 2011 15:19 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    So why aren't we arguing that it is a nonsense to exclude milk from these cows when pasteurisation was invented to make milk safe for human consumption regardless? 

    The whole point of pasteurisation is that it kills micro-organisms such as bovine tuberculosis meaning we wouldn't need to test dairy cattle for bTB in the first place if it wasn't for a set of inflexible, outdated export regulations.

    It seems to me we've been so busy jumping through the hoops that we've lost all focus. We should lay the problem at the feet of those who make the rules and demand that changes are made.

    TB in cattle cannot be eradicated and it doesn't need to be because there are safeguards in the form of pasteurisation and the disease poses no more risk otherwise than, say, e-coli or any of the other infectious diseases which we may deal with in our cattle day to day ( unless of course we're saying that we should be testing for all these other diseases as well....? )

    The EU/export regulations need to be modified and cattle remaining within our shores exempted from restrictions so as to reflect the reality of the situation and put a stop to all this rigmarole.

  • Wed, Jul 20 2011 15:28 In reply to

    Re: Badger cull in England

    Eyeswideopen:
    TB in cattle cannot be eradicated and it doesn't need to be
     

    Eyes wide open, with a head in the sand approach.  Farmers have been arguing the case for vaccination for years.

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