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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Badger Trust say English badger cull would be a reckless gamble

The Badger Trust have issued a press statement in which they say that a report published on Monday by a panel of experts confirms that a badger cull would be a massively irresponsible gamble that could backfire on farmers and prove hugely unpopular with the public.

They say that: "The forecast possible reductions in bTB are small and spread over a huge time frame - nine years until 2020. They are also highly speculative, relying on a large-scale, sustained, simultaneous cull over a large area. They are also, damningly, based not on science but on guesswork.

"The impact and efficacy of shooting free-running badgers - many of which will inevitably be wounded - is based not on hard proof but on supposition because shooting has never been tried before. Perturbation is known to have a major negative effect on culling effectiveness but the Government, in its haste to unload costs on to farmers, is ignoring that key fact. It was clear from the minutes of the DEFRA science meeting released on 4 July that one cannot reliably extrapolate from the RBCT results if one takes a significantly different approach to their methodology, as appears to be planned by DEFRA. Even following the RBCT methodology closely, the benefits are miniscule and the process is costly. The group concluded that vaccination was effective and had none of the negatives of culling."

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