Farmers against the badger cull

Farmers against the badger cull

Dave & Gill Purser

Dear Ms Creagh,
Re: Badger Friendly Farmers
We are cattle farmers who are opposed to the badger cull so we are writing to thank you very much for securing the Opposition debate in the Commons on Wed.
We are very concerned that the NFU purports to represent the entire farming industry on this issue when their membership (55,000) only represents 18% of the agricultural workforce in England (307,000) –Defra – Structure of the agricultural industry – England.
In addition, Adam Quinney, vice-president of the NFU, has recently confirmed on Twitter that the NFU have not even balloted their meagre membership on the subject of the badger cull –
Defra’s Animal Health & Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) held a consultation for farmers/stakeholders and the published reports from these events show no concensus for a badger cull. They also show that farmers are concerned about the indiscriminate shooting of large numbers of badgers without first indentifying those that are infected and that there was far greater support amongst participants for vaccination of both badgers and cattle rather than a badger cull.
It seems that the AHWBE has still to make their recommendations to Defra based on these consultations but the current Defra ministers are continuing to elbow their way through regardless.
We have repeatedly written to David Heath, Lib Dem Agri Minister, asking him to meet with us and other farmers who oppose the cull but he has repeatedly said he does not have the time. Yet we see from this story in the Somerset Standard that he can find the time to meet up with a local shoot.
We feel that farmers in general are being inaccurately represented on this issue and would question how it is that the NFU can influence government policy in this way without having to provide incontrovertible proof that they have the mandate to do so?
Any attention to this would be very much appreciated.
Yours sincerely,
D G & G E Purser, Glos.
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Posted on June 4th 2013 under Badgers and Bovine TB, Leading For Nature. 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

    Thanks for some very interesting information.

    I realised the very small minority of wealthy farmers are over-represented in the NFU leadership – something that happens naturally because most farmers spend all hours God sends simply trying to make a living.

    I hadn’t realised the NFU hadn’t even balloted their membership on the badger cull. It’s incredible they’ve not even bothered to ask ordinary farmers for their views but simply gone ahead with a project that’ll trash the reputation of everyone in the farming community!

    • Gordon

      The farming industry must be careful that it is properly and evenly represented in public affairs. Public Relations management is not one of the industry’s strengths. The NFU claims a mandate to represent the whole of farming. Moreover, it seems virtually to have become a part of government; there was a back-to-back Defra-NFU briefing about the badger cull for MPs in committee room 4 of the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.

      • Natural England have already issued the licences to shoot… licenced to kill our badgers
        and lots of farmers dont want it, i know a few myself, but the farmers almost need to go on a march that would show them… make a march on London farmers who do not want this in their name… let us know and we will join you.

        June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Roula

    Good for you for your support for the badgers it seems whatever we say this cull will go ahead its a shame for such beautiful animals they are scapegoats for this cannot believe the government is letting it go ahead shame on them!

    June 15, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Carla

    Thank-you, Mr Purser. x

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Heather Critchley

    These intelligent and hard working people SHOULD have a Union that not only represents their wishes but also really helps them to solve their problems and improve their business.
    The NFU only help themselves (and the landed gentry with their shooting estates)and care nothing for the people or animals living on farms across this country.
    A blind man can see that farmers need a new union and a new direction!

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • roy allen

    Just goes to show the idits that are ruling the country don’t know the first thing about what they are doing.

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Delighted to hear from the farmers, and to know that not all the farmers at all want this cull, it appears that nfu and defra have nothing else up their sleeves and want to push this through, and the tories are pushing it, it is a v sorry state of affairs, and once again i say look at the infected pastures and bio securities, yes the public are sorry, but like some of the farmers this is a step too far, help the farmers dont cull the badgers,its going to cost a fortune… and for 16% is not enough of an improvement and it will do damage between the public the gov and the farmers who insist on culling.. its a crying shame call to make our british badger our mascot and emblem.

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • learnthetruth

    This flawed inhumane policy beggars belief. Farming has been tarnished with a reputation of cruelty, ignorance and a total disregard for their duties as custodians of the land they farm. Thank goodness some farmers have the knowledge and the courage to speak against it.

    The misrepresentation of the facts by the NFU and Defra has been staggering as a basic knowledge of statistics shows their graphs and their intepretation of them to be fatally flawed.
    Their latest propoganda that the badger cull in Ireland has been a success, is despicable as two minutes looking at the graph from the irish Wildlife Trust shows.

    A full investigation of the relationship between the NFU and Defra should be instigated and an enquiry into the reasons for ploughing on with this barbarity, when the only outcome will be the loss of thousands of badgers. It is far more expensive to kill them than to vaccinate, the method of checking the humaneness is bizarre and the public safety issues cannot be guaranteed.
    If vaccination is carried out, within five years there will be virtually full immunity in the badger population and yet Owen Paterson intends to slaughter 100,000 over the next 25 years at an astronomical cost and to what purpose?
    If the reason for the cull is solely to reduce badger numbers because the only valid reason for killing them is to reduce disease, then this has been a total travesty, misuse of public funds and he has brought his Department into disrepute.

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jennifer Upton

    I reposted this onto I also emailed back to my MP. George Hollinbury to query his response to my initial query. Which basically was a cut and paste from the official government docs. and whip-line. I queried also that his team of researchers had done such a shoddy job, I attached the above link and will wait for a response.

    I have never really comprehended the will to kill our wildlife. but by the same token.. the huge onslaught of poaching in Africa also raises the question of the perceptions of accountability…

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Barbara Mullan

    I am very pleased there are more farmers than generally believed who do not support the badger cull. I really do not understand what the government is trying to achieve. Let’s hope they listen to scientific evidence and common sense!

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jason Knight

    This is fantastic to read.
    As an end consumer, is there any way that I can tell where produce from this farm ends up? – I would love to buy dairy/beef exclusively from pro-vaccination sources.

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Sally Turner

    Good for you for speaking out. Lets hope you manage to connect up with other like minded farmers as I am sure there are plenty.

    June 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Mark

    RT @WildlifeStuff: Farmers against the #badgercull read why not all farmers are happy with the proposed badger cull
    This has been and always will be a political issue nothing to do with welfare or costs it’s about putting the Tory point and ramming it home. Much the same with the Buzzard nest destruction in Scotland. Even though they backed down they are now letting go ahead but quietly.

    June 18, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jeff Smith

    Please stand up and be publicly vocal – the majority of the country would be behind you, unfortunately all farmers will be tarred with the same brush and heaven knows what will happen should the shooting start……together we can save the badgers and the cows, but the Cull must be stopped!

    June 19, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jan Hudson

    Thank you so much for a farmer’s perspective on this issue. too many people are ready to believe what the government and media tell them, rather than listening to those who really know.

    August 26, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Thanks for your stance and your excellent submission to the House of Commons ie
    You are most welcome to visit the Compassion In Bristol facebook page (see website link). We would appreciate any comments you have to make as a farmer in relation to animal welfare in farming.
    Compassion In Bristol is a local support group that exists to promote and discuss the policies of Compassion In World Farming (CIWF)

    August 26, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • so glad these people have a heart. there is no evidence badgers cause Bovine TB and this cull is barbaric and unjust

    August 28, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jane Shadforth

    Very pleased to see confirmed that many farmers do not support the cull. A growing number of consumers would like to “vote with their wallets”, and buy meat & dairy only from farms with are against the cull. Ethical consumer now have a guide on milk, & many of my friends are turning to produce from Wales & Scotland only. I am not sure that is the answer, however, as we shouldn’t punish farmers inside the cull zone, (or England wide), who do not support the cull, and will not allow it on their land.

    How can we encourage farmers, dairies & retailers to be more vocal with their objections, and have a traceable supply chain so meat & dairy products can be labelled as “badger friendly” if it comes from farms who do not support the cull?

    August 30, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Joan

    You 2 are absolute stars, and very brave to speak out. Let’s hope others now follow in your footsteps to stop this unscientific, unethical and immoral cull. Thank you, from all of us who care about the countryside

    September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Sue Hardie

    I am heartened to read this article. The NFU/DEFRA definitely try and give the impression that this cull is what farmers want. It’s so good to read that not all farmers are of the same opinion. Unfortunately, this whole issue seems to be being kept quiet in the media which is a real shame. Immunisation is surely the most humane way to deal with this problem from both the farmers and badgers point of view.

    September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • colette

    the truth is finally coming out even farmer know this is wrong.government you have egg on your face now stand up and this this slaughter.vaccinate

    September 22, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Roger Weeks

    Thank-you,you wonderful people. In the current climate we know its not easy to speak out, and its really good that the custodianship of our countryside still has some champions. Our appreciation is great indeed.
    It is very revealing the level of control that the NFU appears to be wielding without a mandate. The coalition government is accusing labour of being manipulated by the unions-What hypocrisy.
    Unfortunately the damage is being done. We already have ensured that our purchasing power reflects our views that the badger cull is fundamentally flawed in oh so many ways.

    September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Thea Holly

    It is appalling that you and other farmers like you are not being listened to. Thank you for sharing your opinion – thank you for your courage.

    September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Cindy Cull

    Up until recently I had an organic farm on Dartmoor, with a commercial kitchen and food manufacturing business on the same site. We fed our population of badgers with all the food waste from the commercial kitchen. It kept them fit and well and my beautiful herd of Organic North Devon Ruby’s never had a negative TB reactor. My vet said keep feeding the badgers if they are well fed they will stay healthy and never let rogue badgers onto your land. They were a delight to watch on summer evenings with their young, happy living their life in the same fields our cattle grazed.

    September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Lynn Paterson

    I know a sum total of one dairy farmer, and they are opposed. It’s for this reason I don’t support a boycott of dairy, BUT I’m suddenly very careful of what I buy and from where. It’s just part of the whole web of lies and misinformation spread by the NFU and Gov’t to imply that this is what farmers want. I am outraged by the cull and the scientific and public opinion that has been ignored, but how terrible it must be for you, when you are no doubt equally outraged, to have been unwillingly labelled pro cull, and also suffer the ire of the public for something you never supported in the first place. Well done for speaking out. I, like most people,don’t want to see farmers put out of business, and don’t want cattle to suffer or be slaughtered un-necessarily, but I also don’t believe that culling is the answer, and that money, backhanders, and the “good old boys club” has been put ahead of suffering, and biodiversity.

    Keep up the good work 🙂 you have my support.

    September 25, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Billy

    God bless you all, the whole country is behind you.

    September 30, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Suzanne Davies

    Well done you, it’s nice to see Farmers doing the right and honourable thing and for being caring. You deserve to get on and it’s disgusting that you are not being taken seriously with your facts. I wish you all the best and thank you for standing up for our beautiful badgers

    October 28, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

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