PM David Cameron out of touch with Conservatives over badger cull

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
ConservativeAnimalwelfare

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.htm
In 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-observer
We 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.

Suzy Gale – Co Chair of Conservative Animal Welfare and Founder of Animals Worldwide http://www.conservativeanimalwelfare.co.uk

Lorraine Platt – Founder of Blue Badger, Conservatives Against The Badger Cull www.bluebadger.org

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Posted on August 11th 2013 under Badgers and Bovine TB, Leading For Nature, News & Press. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Comments on this post

  • Clued-Up

    There were some Tory MPs that voted against the badger cull (or abstained) even though voting against a 3 line whip means they risked their careers and would be penalised personally. Many Tory party activists are also against the badger cull – some have resigned over it and others will not be turning out to support their local candidate.

    Local activists play an important role in getting Councillors and MPs elected so Cameron’s support for slaughtering badgers is a “double whammy” blow against his party. Party membership has already nose-dived down to 100,000 under his leadership – how much lower will it get, I wonder?

    If the cull goes ahead then there will obviously be YouTube clips along the lines of the famous anti-fur advert (the one where the model’s coat becomes soaked in blood). Cameron’s face will become identified with cruelty to badgers … and badgers are far more popular with the British public than politicians or farmers.

    It would be sensible to act at local level too, creating YouTube clips for each constituency that ask local Tory activists whether they really feel comfortable working towards the election of the [named] local MP who voted for the badger cull and is still supporting it.

    August 12, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
    • Gordon

      Unpublished Conservative research has shown that lost votes in semi-rural marginals could cost the seat.

      August 12, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Why is it that it takes the slaughter of defenceless animals for people to realise how out of touch with reality David Cameron and the rest of the Cabinet are.

    Hundreds of people have died thanks to the actions of this government, but it’s only because they were disabled and unemployed that they are not worthy of saving. Now they turn on animals and people listen!

    The BMC have called for the abolition of the Work Capability Assessment and the government have ignored that and that assessment is causing people to take their own lives.

    Now the BVZS has stated that the culling of badgers will do no good. If the government paid no attention to a claim that was killing people why will they listen to a claim that kills animals?

    August 12, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Clued-Up

    “If the government paid no attention to a claim that was killing people why will they listen to a claim that kills animals?”

    Speaking as someone actively trying with others to stop the injustices and cruelty of the so-called “welfare reforms”, I’ve a lot of sympathy with your viewpoint.

    That said, the badger cull is particularly stupid politics, it’s opposed by every part of the community and the support it has is drawn from a tiny, unpopular group (principally the blood sports fraternity and the rich farmers who make up the NFU leadership).

    Cameron is an ex PR man. Surely he realised the sheer folly of planning the mass slaughter of badgers when every opinion survey polled for years shows the vast majority of the public don’t want badgers killed?

    August 13, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • stormkettle

    People can speak up for themselves or find someone to do so.

    Wild animals have no voice that persecutors will listen to , so concerned public have to step in.

    August 18, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

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