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Badger Management

A corrupt and incompetent Government

A corrupt and incompetent Government, which has failed to tell the truth, wasted taxpayer funds, unlawfully abused tenant rights, and showed utter contempt for the Agricultural Industry and its Viability.

The badger remains the fountainhead of tuberculosis infection in Britain
J Gallagher and R M Sainsbury - Proceedings of BCVA Congress, Killarney, 13–15 Nov 2008

The TB disease epidemic has continued to create unnecessary suffering on a grand scale, affecting wild, domesticated animals and humans, with growing linked problems over a period of eighteen years, increasing by 24% in cattle in 2008. The estimated unnecessary cost to the taxpayer will probably exceed £2 billion.

The Government has refused to issue culling licences, provided for within the Badger Protection Act 1973, justifying its lack of response to the crisis by quoting the findings of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on TB and Badgers, that culling would be ineffective. This claim failed to
qualify the fact that the culling trials were deeply flawed and unscientific and were condemned by their own staff who carried out the work. Past and present methods of culling healthy and sick badgers have proven to be humane and very effective.

Far from being independent, this was a Government briefed and selected committee, which was told that badger culling would be publically unacceptable. This was the Government, which had accepted a £1 million donation from the Animal Rights Industry. This was the industry, which continues to influence Government and public opinion by using untruthful and misleading statements (e.g. ASA complaints upheld) upon which public donations or subscriptions are raised. Such fund raising is deceitful and fraudulent.

Public consultations by Defra, when only half the truth was presented to them, demonstrated that the majority of the public would approve of badger culling. The ISG research and report has taken ten years to complete, and is said to have cost over £40 million.

After 64 closed meetings, the ISG held the first of its annual open public meetings in 2005. Professor John Bourne in the early stages of this open meeting claimed that there was no scientific evidence that badgers carried TB endemically. He had to be reminded by three people in the audience that this statement was untrue, and each individual referred to the research and the dates that it was published. As the public meetings continued, it became clear that this committee was ignoring much of the crucial established scientific evidence, and the advice and research input of the experienced veterinary profession both state and private, and their own staff on the ground

A self perpetuating reservoir of TB infection in badgers has long been recognised (Gallagher et al,
1976) in which the disease in the badger can progress to emaciation and death. The Zuckerman
(1980), Dunnet (1986) and Krebs (1997) Reports, all came to the conclusion that the badger
was a significant reservoir of infection. Professor Krebs sought trials to find the most suitable
methods of controlling the badger population, despite the fact that these methods were tried and
tested, and well known to senior MAFF staff and veterinary advisors.

2

The following 17th January 1995 extract from Hansard speaks for itself - (Written Answers Column
447): Bovine tuberculosis - Mr Heppell: to ask the minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what
evidence he has that the spread of bovine tuberculosis is caused by badgers - Mrs Browning:
Experimental control areas in Dorset and Gloucestershire, set up in 1975, provided evidence of the
causal link between infection in badgers, and cattle herds. After removal of the badgers, there were
no further cattle TB herd breakdowns in these areas for many years. Two independent reports, by
Lord Zuckerman in 1980 and Professor Dunnet in 1986, concluded from the evidence obtained
under laboratory conditions at the Central Veterinary Laboratory and from the field that: - All cattle
tuberculosis breakdowns are the subject of detailed epidemiological investigation by MAFF
veterinary staff - These show that badgers are implicated in at least three-quarters of cattle herd
tuberculosis breakdowns in south-west England.

The TB99 (disease investigation report) completed by experienced Veterinary Officers for every
outbreak and an analysis of these from 1986 to 1995 by the Epidemiology Unit, Weybridge found
approximately 90% of new herd incidents were considered badger origin (MAFF.1995, Clifton-Hadley
1995).

There is no indication of any real change in origins or that cattle infections were driving the epidemic
during this period. Thus the apparently arbitrary assumption of origins in the ISG model are likely
to have resulted in a serious distortion of the disease model.

All parties were made aware of the textbook example of TB developing in an overcrowded,
unmanaged, badger hotspot, environment at the League Against Cruel Sports deer sanctuary
at Dulverton with at least 200 yearlings dying unnecessarily of dehabilitation, starvation and
dehydration. Post mortems promised to Maff by Douglas Batchelor were not provided, and he is
on film stating that we should not play god. Crucial lessons learned about the causation of TB
in deer and badgers, were not allowed to weaken the protectionist as opposed to management
arguments. Minister Elliot Morley, the dominant architect of Defra’s support for the Animal Rights
Industry, stated at a PAWS seminar that wildlife does not need managing.

The Independent Scientific Group (ISG) Trials started in 1998 and continued through to 2007. It is
now clear that the ISG research would not stand up to competent peer reviewed scrutiny.

Parliament and the public have been misled, at enormous cost to the taxpayer, farming, wildlife
and wildlife management. The political fear of the animal rights industry has led to £2 billion pounds
of taxpayers money being wasted, and a catastrophe (difficult to cost) for the wildlife consumed
by the explosion in badger numbers, and those who died as result of badgers emptying the larder
of food, which an enormous number of less obvious species rely on for their survival. We
have reached a point where upland wildlife managers will cease operations, because predator
control is now impossible and best practice management not viable.

As a partner in Defra's Partnership Against Wildlife Crime, it is my opinion that the whole subject
requires a police investigation into both the misuse of public funds, and fraudulent activity
involving animal rights publicity and donations, which have influenced the public and Ministers;
thereby having an adverse effect on the performance of Defra in exercising a duty of care to
our rural communities, our domesticated animals, wildlife and their good management.

For further information, evidence on other major issues, clarification, references and advice on
humane culling and management contact Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management –
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – As at 7
th
September 2012 the cost of protecting the badger is
expected to reach £3bn. Original document presented in October 2009.

Animal Welfare and Politics

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -
Bovine TB and Badgers Consultation
Animal Welfare and Politics

 

Letter to the Editor
The Times
1 Pennington Street
London E98 1TA

25th February 2006

Animal Welfare and Politics

Sir,  John Rolls, RSPCA, and Andrew Hind, Charity Commissioners, (letters, Feb 24) state that charities are legally entitled to carry out campaigning and political activities as a means of furthering their charitable purposes.

In doing so, Charity Commissioner guidance calls for reasoned argument and evidence based on quality research, not the personal viewpoints and emotions of members.

The blatant failure of the RSPCA to undertake this process in conducting their anti-fox hunting and badger protection campaigns lies at the heart of the damaging animal rights confrontation. In practice they are promoting cruelty and preventing kindness.

Imposing strict welfare requirements for farm animals and neglecting uncontrolled and diseased badger populations, which share common habitats, and as predators seriously impact on other wild species, demonstrates the RSPCA’s confused ethical base.

The Government has already decided that wildlife can be killed by promoting poisons, gas, traps, cages and snares setting the criteria for their use.

It is an accepted duty of care under the law, that an in extremis suffering or casualty wild animals, should be located and dispatched as quickly and humanely as possible, to alleviate further unnecessary suffering. This is regarded as a central role for scent hounds, terriers and hunts under the Hunting Act 2004.

Measuring and comparing suffering between different methods of killing and capturing wild animals is a little known but accepted objective science, where the duration and degree of suffering can be audited, along with other related positive or negative factors.

Government has been aware for several years that hunting methods are proven more humane than shooting, through the use of a simple welfare equation.  MAFF research demonstrated bTB to be a serious problem with uncontrolled badgers, when they began reaching population levels of 25-30 per sq km in the late 1970’s.

The RSPCA, Charities Commission, and Government should be brave enough to be honest, and put the interests of our precious wildlife before political prejudices.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage

 

Badger Cull and DEfRA

Tuberculosis: tracing the dilemma

Published in the Veterinary Times on 25th July 2005 Vol 35, No 27, pp 14 - 17

Tuberculosis: tracing the dilemma

Whilst tuberculosis was first found in badgers 34 years ago it is in fact quite understandable that the question is still asked as to whether badgers do spread TB to cattle. The political discomfort that surrounds this problem and the action necessary to address it is such that the politicians have done their best to wish it away. Misinformation about the subject now almost outweighs the truths. The purpose of this article is thus to set out the facts behind this remarkable dilemma.

Download (PDF) the full article HERE

Background - presenting the facts to the public

British Wildlife Management

Wildlife Welfare

BRITISH PEOPLE - PULLING TOGETHER - TO MOVE THE WORLD

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -
Bovine TB and Badgers Consultation
Background - presenting the facts to the public

 
The Report of the Krebbs Committee concluded in December 1997 that there was compelling evidence that badgers were a significant source of TB in cattle. The Governments overriding objective is to identify science based TB control policies which will allow healthy cattle and badgers to co-exist in our countryside – Baroness Hayman – Ministry of Agriculture - Nov 23 1998.

With the TB Eradication policy now where it was about 40 years ago, the Minister has thankfully at last announced a consultation on the culling of badgers.  He has proposed the use of either snaring, shooting or carbon monoxide gassing methods for control, but has also proposed that culling be carried out by farmers with Defra issuing appropriate licences – Despite the misery and disruption farmers have had to endure and the carnage of their stock, it is unrealistic to expect farmers to carry out an effective cull and nor should they be pushed into doing so – J. Gallagher et al – The  Veterinary Record – March 4, 2006

Badgers have for long been recognised as the heaviest and most aggressive predator of a wide range of species. It was inevitable that that those who believe in leaving everything to nature and those involved in day to day management of the countryside, should eventually face up to each other in the struggle for intellectual, moral and practical control of best practice, in the good management of our countryside, and the species who share it with us. 

Good management of wildlife stands on a three legged stool of all year round habitat provision, food and water, and protection;  protection from people, predators and disease.  If one of the legs of this management stool is kicked away, the system collapses. The wildlife manager and the species would probably have to have to start again, if they were lucky.  Protection should clearly not involve the neglect of current protection policies promoted by animal rights organisations, which have placed them in the invidious position, where they are now proven to be promoting cruelty and preventing kindness.

Such protection policies have been secured by animal rights groups misleading and deceiving the public and Parliament.   By then milking human emotions, sums of money are fraudulently gathered from the public by a wide range of organisations led by the RSPCA.  Far from leading on the issue of science based policies to promote kindness and prevent cruelty, the RSPCA has failed to produce the required reasoned arguments backed by credible research for their wildlife policies.  The fact that public opinion is swung against good management practices by expensive and misleading advertising campaigns and lobbying, justifies firm Government action and criminal investigations.

John Rolls, RSPCA, and Andrew Hind, Charity Commissioners, (letters, Feb 24) state that charities are legally entitled to carry out campaigning and political activities as a means of furthering their charitable purposes.  In doing so, Charity Commissioner guidance calls for reasoned argument and evidence based on quality research, not the personal viewpoints and emotions of members.  The blatant failure of the RSPCA to undertake this process in conducting their anti-fox hunting and badger protection campaigns lies at the heart of this damaging animal rights confrontation.  Imposing strict welfare requirements for farm animals and neglecting uncontrolled and diseased badger populations, which share common habitats, and as predators seriously impact on other wild species, demonstrates the RSPCA’s confused ethical base.  In practice they are promoting cruelty and preventing kindness – Edmund Marriage to the Charities Commission, and in an unpublished letter to the Times – 25 February 2006.

 
Text of the RSPCA Advert in the Daily Telegraph - February 2nd 2006
The badger is a protected species. Apart from the thousands the government is thinking of slaughtering obviously.
The main cause of TB in cows is cattle to cattle, not badger to cattle. So what are some farmers putting pressure on the government to do about it? That's right, slaughter thousands of badgers.
The government commissioned a trial to discover the best way to control the disease. This showed that badger culling does not necessarily reduce the overall number of infected cattle and may make matters worse. Despite this some farmers want action now.
So do we. If the unecessary killing of badgers outrages you as much as it does us. . . . .


rspca


The Government and Defra appear to be grasping the wildlife management arguments, and this was clear at the Police Against Wildlife Crime Annual Seminar, attended by Minister Jim Knight on 28 February, and within the constructive debate held at the First Bovine TB Seminar at Birmingham on the 6 March, 2006.  It was of great significance that whilst the Badger Trust engaged in the debate, the RSPCA was absent.  At this time public opinion has been heavily and unjustly influenced against culling and the farming community.  Government clearly has a duty of care to inform the public of the true position, and resolve the chaotic muddle in which we all find ourselves.

The Independent Scientific Group set up nearly eight years ago to identify science based control policies has not been well enough staffed, briefed, informed, or brave enough, to give the clear and confident advice needed by Government to address the problems. Fortunately the 450 rural veterinary surgeons, Defra staff involved in the practical issues, and the State Veterinary Service, are able to advise on control policies acceptable to the farming industry, to allow healthy cattle and badgers to coexist in our countryside.

Badger Cull and DEfRA - A Vet's view (24.1.06)

A Vet Speaks out about DEfRA and the Badger Cull

The Editor,

Farmers Weekly,

Dear Sir,

When Ben Bradshaw announced before Christmas that there was to be a cull of infected badgers, one would have hoped that being in the 'Season of Goodwill', he would have been genuine?

Later he announced a 'Consultation Exercise' to determine if, when and how the badgers were to be culled. It is all a cynical, contemptible charade to soften up you farmers, to justify the new stringent valuation table for reactors and the costly pre-movement testing being imposed this Feb. All to appease the badger lobby, who are prepared to allow the badgers to suffer.

They ignore the fact that a cull of infected badgers would not only result in a healthier cattle population but a healthier badger population too.

There will be will be NO 'official' cull of badgers in the foreseeable future.

The Berne Convention signed up by Britain 1982 and amended 2002 clearly states how a protected species cannot be culled. Unless it is a whale when explosives may be used, the only option is shooting during daylight; hardly a very efficient method of culling the nocturnal badger?

Should there be a derogation- a process which would take months or even years, then the badger lobby will prolong the inevitable, by seeking a Judicial Review -another even longer process.

The proposed pre-movement testing at your expense (£6? per beast) of all cattle over 15months, (unless going to slaughter) from Parishes with 1 or 2 year testing regimes, does not include those of you on a temporary reprieve from 60 day testing and now on a 6 month regime and desperate to depopulate!

Surely it cannot be an accidental oversight or even that this group will be exempt? It can only mean that your movement restrictions will not be lifted.

Could this act of crass stupidity be the 'Final Straw that Breaks the Camels back'?

Defra has powers in the event of a farmer refusing to allow a test. They will supply their own 'man power' (and equipment?) and do the test themselves, deducting the expense at source from your 'grants'.

With Defra's very limited resources, surely it would not take too many of you not to cooperate and grind all testing to a halt?

However "Trying to mobilise farmers is like trying to herd cats"! ( a borrowed quote).

Yours Faithfully

D.J.B.Denny

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