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Badger Cull

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AB Editor | 10:41 Tue 18th Sep 2012 | Animals & Nature
19 Answers
 

This poll is closed.

  • No. It is not necessary. - 159 votes
  • 70%
  • Yes, they must be culled. - 69 votes
  • 30%

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Stats until: 23:26 Mon 22nd Apr 2024 (Refreshed every 5 minutes)
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It is illegal to vaccinate cattle in the EU as there is no way to tell the difference between an infected animal and a vaccinated animal. To combat the problem Defra have invested £23 million in cattle vaccine and associated diagnostics R&D since 1998, and over the next 4 years have budgeted to spend a further £9.3 million.

Vaccinating badgers is not...
15:22 Sun 23rd Sep 2012
Totally unnecessary. A smokescreen by Defra because they didn't research a vaccine for cattle soon enough. And also because many farmers are still peed off with them with their handling of foot and mouth in 2001
ditto
Does the poll refer to the trial or the potential rolling out of a wider cull, or both?
If we don't learn to live in harmony with Nature soon, we'll be the only ones left, plus the ants.
AND we are told to cull grey squirrels in favour of the reds. I've got greys here as did my grandad. We saw reds when visiting Norway in 1950s; reds are indiginous to the Nords, greys to UK.
Agree Wildwood. Man is the biggest threat to this planet.
tambo, sadly greys are not indigenous
http://www.woodlands....rel-arrive-in-the-uk/

but culling them wont help either.
I think that it is quite natural for species to cross territories whether it be intended or not. Woofie is correct about red squirrels Tambo. I agree that culling is a total waste of time, and also totally immoral in my opinion. Let nature take it's course. Left alone it levels itself out. Man insists on fighting nature but nature will ultimately win hopefully.
It is not necessary to coll Badgers.
The badgers are merely scapegoats in the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis.
It is illegal to vaccinate cattle in the EU as there is no way to tell the difference between an infected animal and a vaccinated animal. To combat the problem Defra have invested £23 million in cattle vaccine and associated diagnostics R&D since 1998, and over the next 4 years have budgeted to spend a further £9.3 million.

Vaccinating badgers is not illegal and there is a badger vaccine available however to vaccinate a significance percentage of the badger population would mean that all badgers in the area would need to be trapped, tagged and injected (tagging required to show who is vaccinate and who is not). Even if the resources to achieve this were available it still does not solve the problem of TB transmission as the badgers that have TB already will not be cured by the vaccine, so they will still be able to pass it to cattle and new (un-vaccinated) badgers. It should be noted that we would be unable to test whether a badger is infected or has been vaccinated. This would mean a programme of continuous vaccination would be required for a long time, and whilst this takes place many thousands of cattle would need to be culled instead.

26,000 cattle were culled in the UK in 2011 to combat the spread of TB. Badgers have been identified as a key vector in TB spread. High incidence areas are to be targeted for a 70% population cull. The randomised badger culling trial showed a decrease in TB incidence within the cull area and only a short lived increase in surrounding area.

The cull is designed to reduce the need to slaughter cattle and to reduce the incidence of TB in the badger population (it has be done successfully in Ireland already, and in New Zealand where a possum cull was undertaken).

As there is no readily available alternative the cull is necessary.
I will not just stand by and watch these beautiful creatures culled
me neither mdenning!...........
But you would stand by and let them spread tb throughout the badger population? It's also a relatively unpleasant way to die and they are and will be dying. Do you propose doing nothing?
City dwellers that have only seen badgers on a page or screen should realize they do not have an informed opinion. Just arrogance to assume you do.
It is feasible to inoculate badgers & there is a suitable vaccine available so why are the powers that be dragging their feet over this? It needs a bit of organisation! Gamekeepers, farmers etc in all badger inhabited areas may be sceptical, but surely it is worth the effort to try & reduce the number of cattle infected by tb. Stop agonising over it & get on & DO IT.
kirkusa, amazing that you can make such a sweeping statement, how many city dwellers on AB do you reckon, seeing it's anonymous for the most part.
"let's kill all the badgers and see if that works", doesn't seem very scientific to me.
It takes about 18 months for a badger to die of TB. It's a long and painful disease for the badger. A sick badger is cast out of the set (having already infected others) and must live alone, without family, until it eventually dies.
I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps the vaccination route, which would be a long, expensive and less secure route.
Culling gives a short term result, but badgers from the surrounding un-culled areas would soon move back into the area defeating the object.
Like I said, I have no real answers other than the badgers will not win in the long term.
The Irish conclusion:
Abstract

We examined the effect of varying levels of badger population control on the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers in four counties of Ireland. In the ‘Removal’ and ‘Buffer’ areas, proactive culling was conducted to substantially reduce and subsequently maintain badger populations at a low level for five years. In the ‘Reference’ areas, localised reactive culling was conducted in association with herd breakdowns. The infection status of badgers was determined using bacteriology. A total of 2696 badgers were recruited into the study, and 19.0% were found to be infected with M. bovis. The two population control strategies had differing effects on the subsequent prevalence of tuberculosis in badger populations. Proactive culling led to a long term decrease in the prevalence of tuberculosis in the re-emergent populations. Although there was an overall decline in the disease prevalence, no consistent trend in disease prevalence as a result of reactive culling was observed.

That is from here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034528807002767

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