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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not peanuts after all

The BBC report that peanuts are expected to be used as bait to trap badgers as part of a plan to cull them in North Pembrokeshire. The animals are known to like peanuts and they are commonly used to encourage badgers into people's gardens.

However, the cost of carrying out the cull is far from peanuts. A response to a written question I tabled reveals that the Welsh Government will be spending £9.427m on this exercise, even though all the scientific evidence points to the cull being ineffective.

Included in the cost is the provision of extra police officers for the local community for five years. But when I submitted a Freedom of Information request to ask how much the Labour-Plaid Cymru Government are paying Dyfed Powys Police for extra cover I was told it was exempt information. Apparently, they are afraid that even putting this general information into the public domain might aid and abet those seeking to sabaotage the cull.

The Government's argument is entirely unconvincing on this so I have appealed and will take it all the way to the Information Commissioner if necessary. This is public money and the Government needs to be transparent and accountable in the way it spends it.
We are so close (relatively speaking, compared to the length of time badger culls have been talked about) to an oral vaccine - which clearly could be delivered via peanuts! - that this Pembrokeshire cull should be reconsidered.
I have used Peanut Butter (Crunchy) for catching rats using a Fenn trap; which according to the Glamorgan Gazette is a big issue in Bettws, one of the residents has rats under her decking, myself, I think it's her fault for having decking!

I have yet to try bananas, but not anything Fairtrade....

(Labour candidate for Moray, Stuart MacLennan: “God this fairtrade, organic banana is shit. Can I have a slave-grown, chemically enhanced, genetically modified one please?”)
Peanuts have become expensive in the last two years since the WAG decided on this cull. It will cost a fortune to cover the pilot area in bait.
It would be better if the police spent more time finding out why there are so many dead badgers at the roadsides and prosecuted those who kill them.
Vaccination would save Wales from looking stupid, backward and cruel.
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