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Bloodbath as sensible as witch-burning

16th November 2007

The extraordinary recommendation to slaughter badgers is scientifically illiterate, socially unacceptable and economically unviable.  This advice goes against the conclusions of the Government appointed Independent Scientific Group on cattle TB, published in June this year after a 10 year study.

I tabled the following EDM

 

"That this House rejects the evidence-free call for a mass slaughter of badgers, in contradiction of the proof of a 10-year detailed scientific study and the assurance of Professor John Bourne that badger culling will have no impact on reducing the spread of bovine tuberculosis; notes that the virtual extermination of badgers in the Republic of Ireland has failed to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis, which is currently twice as high as in the UK; further notes that British areas where badgers have been culled show a four fold increase in cases; and believes that the £80 million paid to farmers in free insurance for cattle destroyed in 2006 should be phased out to encourage farmers to restrict non-essential animal movements, which are the principal cause of cattle infections."

Trevor Lawson, spokesperson for the Badger Trust said, "Killing badgers is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, doing far more harm than good.  Controlling TB in cattle will reduce TB in badgers, further reducing the risk to cattle".