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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Badger cull - what is happening on the ground

The Welsh Assembly Government claim that arrests were made because animal rights activists are intimidating officials. This film shows that landowners are being arrested for insisting that legal procedures are carried out. One other question, did all of those officials and police officers disinfect their footware before entering onto the land? How concerned is this possé with biosecurity?

I understand that those people arrested were later released without charge.
I trust that those individuals who were arrested kept the accompanying paperwork and will be going to see a decent solicitor first thing Monday Morning.
"...Protest and free speech are crucial parts of political life, with a strong British history, yet a variety of measures undermine them.

Laws intended to combat anti-social behaviour, terrorism and serious crime are routinely used against legitimate protesters.

Free Speech has been a victim on the 'War on Terror', with offences of 'encouragement' and 'glorification' of terrorism threatening to make careless talk a crime.

Non-violent political organisations can be classified along with Al-Quaeda, with membership or association with them a serious criminal offence.

Meanwhile, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 has extended the offence of incitement to racial hatred to cover religion, threatening to seriously undermine legitimate debate...."

From the Liberty website
Elin Jones' statement on the incident:

'Over 95% of the land has already been surveyed with no problems. On three properties we were unable to continue with the sett survey, as the behaviour of protestors left our contractors feeling personally intimidated.

This unacceptable behaviour included abusive language, harassing and trying to film Welsh Assembly Government staff and contractors, whilst following them around all day. Our contractors felt personally intimidated, which is why they tried to conceal their identity. This has not happened before and we will continue to try our best to work in a transparent manner in future.'

Does that ean they'll be wearing transparent balaclavas?
Whilst I am reluctantly not opposed to the badger cull. I support any exposure of wrongdoing or heavy handiness by the authorities. However I believe your position would have more credence if you were to comment on the news of 20th of May that the Con –Lib government “will press ahead with a badger cull in England, as soon as "practically possible". It would be a pity if you were to be seen a opposing a badger cull in Wales but not in England and if this had anything to do with the make up of the government there.
I am sure I have already said that I am opposed to a badger cull in England as well and for the same reassons irrespective of who is implementing it. I am being entirely consistent on this.
It makes me so angry that the law can be changed for the government to undertake this murder of such important wildlife while the movement of untested cattle in the UK goes on and on and on......
+ there was an incident in march of sheep with TB in Gloucestershire. Does anyone know what happened about this incident? And does anybody know what other animals can carry TB? Lots of questions need to be answered before anything like a cull should be carried out. Elinn Jones is obviously not well informed about this subject, yet she is in charge of such devistation because it is the easy option!! 'Oh look it's a badger - oh no it's a scape goat!!'
There was an even-handed account on BBC TV's "Countryfile" yesterday.
And on S4C Y Byd ar Bedwar yesterday evening:
I did not know you had to disinfect your footwear, has something happened i did not know about, I'll rush down to my gate and set up the disinfectant right now.

Hold on this is a badger cull for god sake, should it happen I've no idea do badgers have TB yes i think so, where do they get it from is the questions, from the food they eat, cattle Urine I've no idea, but for god sake somebody find out
The piece on Country file was NOT even handed at all. Did it state that BTB is down 50% in Wales, did it say how many other animals can carry TB including dogs, and ferel cats - see recent bits on PAC news letter which are all scientific! Yet none of this was mentioned!!! Letter to hopefully be in the radio times shortly:-
I have just watched Countryfile and Welsh plans for a badger cull. The programme did little to address all the issues concerning bovine tb. What we weren't told is that in Wales there is already a decrease of 50% in bovine tb achieved by better husbandry despite the fact that the Welsh Assembly Government is behind in its programme to screen herds for tb. The badger cull at best can only reduce bovine tb by 6%, a reduction that disappears after 5 years. In surrounding areas bovine tb will increase.
Countryfile didn't tell us that the Irish Government is committed to stopping the killing of badgers and is already trialing a vaccine.
Sadly the programme was prepared before images of hooded contractors and a dedicated police team were captured trying to enter land before the landowner could contact the Welsh Assembly to validate the identity of the people entering his property as he was legally entitled. To the shame of the people of Wales and in particular its government these images are available on You Tube.
I'm afraid Countryfile failed miserably in providing informed and comprehensive debate on this topic that not only affects the farmer but the population as a whole..
Nigel G Baldwin

These are the facts!!!
latest data on domestic and companion animals from VLA, the BIG question here is why they do not consider the species they have identified high prevalence of TB as problems
Basic summary of 2009 data thus far:

Deer = 36% positive (includes farmed, wild and park deer)

cat = 25% positive

dog = 27% positive

pig = 19% positive

alpaca = 56% positive

llama = 0%

sheep = 44% positive

goat = 0

ferret (!) = 0

farmed wild boar = 0 NB: two cases this year confirmed for wild boar and TB, both on TB infected farms

HUMANS have a 1% incidence of TB, skewed to farm workers

we need to ask them to present data and justify on why they do not consider these spp which actually have high sero-prev than most badger populations.

An increasing trend is for higher occurrences of TB in cats and alpaca (these are live culture diagnostics so cannot be argued with by the vets etc)

I don't want to point fingers at any animals (all are great) but we do have an enormous feral cat population and an, as yet unquantified, deer population,

food for thought anyway….


Dr Dan Forman CBiol.MIBiol.EurProBiol.

Conservation Ecology Research Team

Department of Pure and Applied Ecology

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Swansea University

Singleton Park




Tel: (+44) 01792 295445
Perhaps Dr Forman should note that feral cats tend to be an urban species that buries it's pee and poo. Wild badgers are native to north Pembrokeshire and tend to 'mark' territory within the cattle pasture, with bTB infected urine. Perhaps the Department of Pure and Applied Ecology at Swansea University would note that it is the pasteurisation of milk for human consumption results in the very low infectivity of TB in humans. Any such comparison would only hold true if calves and badger cubs only consumed milk that had been pasteurised.The jury is still out on the Welsh Alpaca, although there is one in Colwyn Bay. LOL !!
There are plenty of feral cats in N.Pembs, particularly around farms, where the farm cats seem to produce abundant young that disperse all over the surrounding countryside.
I blame the Boncath Beast...100% positive!
Go to BARC, bristol animal rights colaberation, web site. Demos in Cardiff, Leeds & Guildford against the cull on 18th June. Please attend if you have something to say! Transport avaliable.
Also in Aberystwyth on the 17th, meeting at curry's carpark at 1.40pm, to end a short distance at welsh assembly building for 2pm, please bring black and white ribbons to hang on railings. A banner is to be unfurled + a wreath laid, please bring flowers with your own message too.
Thank you - please come if you can!!!!
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