In the same week that Independent commentators mused that conservative party membership had fallen below 100000 for the first time in its history, a letter was sent to all Conservative MPs and Ministers on Friday evening showing how far PM David Cameron is out of touch with Conservatives over badger cull
Conservative Animal Welfare Co-Chair / Blue Badger Founder Statement on the ‘Badger Cull’
The case for culling badgers is weak. Scientific evidence shows that a cull will only reduce TB in cattle by 16% at best and may actually spread the disease further. It may be counterproductive and does not provide a credible long term solution to the problem of bovine tuberculosis.The British Veterinary Zoological Society has now added its voice to the massive weight of scientific and public opposition to the government’s proposed badger cull. The website states “BVZS does not believe there is currently scientific evidence to suggest that a targeted cull of badgers can contribute positively to the overall control of bTB in cattle, can be employed in a way that protects animal welfare or is economically viable”. Their written evidence on Bovine TB vaccination to the EFRA committee can be viewed on this link: http://www.publications.
parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/ cmselect/cmenvfru/writev/ bovine/m17.htmIn October 2012, more than 30 leading scientists with expertise in managing wildlife and wildlife diseases, announced publicly in a letter to the Observer “We believe the complexities of TB transmission mean that licensed culling risks increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it” and they concluded “…culling badgers as planned is very unlikely to contribute to TB eradication. We therefore urge the government to reconsider its strategy”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/ theobserver/2012/oct/14/ letters-observerWe call for the cull to be abandoned, to give new cattle movements a chance to show results and for the government to support a targeted programme of badger vaccination. We ultimately urge the government to focus on the complete development of a cattle vaccination and secure change to the EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment as the effective solution forwards. We ask the government to reconsider its position on the badger cull and to focus on more effective solutions to bTB including better bio security, improved testing and vaccination.