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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.

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