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UK Badger Cull: Justified Or Not?

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Kerosene | 08:24 Wed 12th Sep 2012 | Animals & Nature
15 Answers

We've had various scientific studies on the above, very emotive subject. The government based DEFRA has commissioned most of them including the latest one, a very brief investigation, which suggests that another cull is justifiable. It will now go ahead in the very near future.

An earlier one, conducted over more than 9 years 1998 - 2006, published 2007, by the ISG (Independent Scientific Group) actually concluded that it would achieve virtually nothing to continue culling badgers because they are apparently only one possible 'culprit' among many.

***N.B.*** My second link contains the assertion that "..the latest evidence suggests that, nine years after culling, incidence might fall by 9-16%.."

What do you think, folks?


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Who to believe? The For or Against lobby? Very difficult to be sure either way. I do know I hate the thought of slaughtering our wildlife and don't know why we can't do as the Welsh are doing, ie "Plans to begin culling in Wales were recently abandoned in favour of a vaccination policy following the change of Welsh Assembly Government last year".
There doesn't seem to be any clear evidence to support any action against the badgers.

Ethically and morally what right do we have to kill animals because we 'think' that they are causing problems to cattle. I read an article some time back when some vet suggested that the badgers could just as easily catching it 'from' the cattle.

I don't think that humans tinkering with nature works very well - we took the bunny rabbits to Australia and that didn't turn out too well.

I don't know how enthusiastically badgers breed but it may be that we kill 100 and the remaining badgers will just churn out more babies to take advantage of the better availability of food.

As an afterthought - maybe we could catch and neuter then release the badgers. It works to an extent with feral cats.

No wonder I prefer my cats - humans are nasty animals. :-)
It's classic human arrogance to think that a problem can be solved by wiping out an entire species.

This farmer found an alternative some years back, and to the best of my knowledge is still pursuing it. I believe there's another farm in East Anglia that does the same.

Making sure that the badgers on your land keep healthy and free from tb seems blindingly obvious. I don't know why more landowners aren't going down this route. Maybe killing is just more satisfying.
Just read this from your link kiki But no amount of anthropomorphising is going to save badgers from being culled on a huge scale if David King, the government's chief scientist, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs get their way. Ignoring a 10-year scientific study that cost the lives of 11,000 badgers and proved that a large cull would not solve the bovine TB problem, King last month opted for slaughter.

I haven't seen this 10-year scientific study but if the it is true then how the heck is this cull justified.

Would be interested to hear your opinion Kerosene.
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Yes indeed, that 10 year report, which I believe can be accessed and read if you have several spare hours, is the same one I mentioned in my header to this.

What is very interesting is that the 10 year one was of course commissioned by a Labour govt, whereas this hastily arranged latest one which was only authorised by the PM himself I believe, since the Coalition came to power in 2010 and which was reported on at the end of 2011. A very short study time indeed and done so at the behest of the farming community (appeasement? vote seeking?).

The 10 year study carried out by the Independent Scientific Group was available somewhere online because I saw it only about a month ago. I'll have a root around and see if I can locate a link for you.

So, in a nutshell, surprise surprise, it's good old politics at the root of it. How much did the 10 year study cost we taxpayers just to be then discarded on a whim only a few years later? Unbelievable!
Question Author


Above link itemises the main findings of the 10 year study and its recommendations which were acceptable to the then Labour Govt but clearly weren't to the present Coalition Govt less than 2 years ago?

The mind boggles!
Lot of opposition gathering, David Attenborough and Brian May who is being attacked by the farmers' lobby surprise surprise. Where do I sign up?

Thanks K for the link, I should have a quiet hour later this afternoon and I shall have a read and refresh my memory.
And badgers are supposed to be a protected species - makes my blood boil !
Just to follow on from Kerosene's thread, someone sent me this petition link today if anyone's interested:
One of the points on the petition:
"· The method of free-shooting badgers could cause severe to many thousands of badgers."
Severe what?
Yep, me too.
'injuries' maybe ?
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Sorry about this guys and gals, I also have this thread running on 'News'. But anyway, it seems, sadly, that the time for protest has passed? Hasn't the Court of Appeal just rejected an official protest recently lodged by the badger protection lobby?

Hence, preparations for this mass slaughter are gathering pace and I believe that further atrocity is just around the corner. We can only blame present day politicians for this.

Remember this when the next General Election comes around, regardless of your own political persuasion.
tenrec, the wording should read "pain". The petition will still go ahead due to the number of signatories who had signed prior to an amendment. Despite the missing word, it will still be presented as a show of numbers of people who are willing to take the time to sign and register their distaste.

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