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Thursday, October 15, 2009

On badgers

As is reported here, on Tuesday I tabled a motion with Labour AM Lorraine Barrett to annul the Welsh Government's legislation that will enable a badger cull in North Pembrokeshire.

My reasons for doing so are twofold. Firstly I believe that there needs to be a vote on this controversial measure before it goes ahead. Assembly Members cannot allow it to go through by default.

Secondly, I believe a cull is contrary to the weight of the scientific evidence. The Badger Trust have produced a useful document on this which can be found here.They say that Northern Ireland had a similar rate of bovine TB to Wales just four years ago, but has virtually halved it without killing a single badger.

In contrast, over the same period, the Republic of Ireland has exterminated thousands of badgers and failed to dent its massive bovine TB problem, even though badgers are now virtually extinct in livestock areas.

The Independent Scientific Group in England carried out a ten year study, which included trials of badger culling. They concluded that culling could make no meaningful contribution to bovine TB control. Their research has been published in international, peer-reviewed journals and the authors had analysed in detail, every possible culling option before reaching their conclusion.The Badger Trust say that 'the Randomised Badger Culling Trial in England took ten years, cost at least £50 million, was statistically robust and provides every possible piece of scientific evidence that might be obtained by killing badgers.

I agree that the cull that is proposed forms part of a comprehensive package of measures but it is a superfluous part. Badgers are by no means pleasant creatures but they are a protected species. The Government's action will encourage others to take matters into their own hands no matter what the Minister may say.

Furthermore the cull area has no hard boundaries, a pre-requisite of any cull. There is nothing to stop badgers moving in and out of the cull area, nor for that matter are there any proposals to deal with other animals that carry TB.

The Business Committee on Tuesday will determine the date of this debate. It needs to take place before 15th November. Only if the motion to annul is defeated can the cull go ahead.
Well very well done to you sir and to lorraine Barrett for tabling this motion to annul the cull of badgers in North Pembs.
Good to highlight the extermination of badgers by the bovine obsessed southern Irish. Remember they exterminated the magnificent Red Kite from there isle. This bird was re-introduced with Welsh Red Kites and guess what? They are exterminating these and the Irish media is not reporting it.
As for badgers I am sick and tired of seeing this magnificent mammal (our largest carnivorous mammal) dead in country lane verges with shot gun pellets in its head. It has a right to live in the woodland's of Wales. The scurge of intensive agriculture should not impinge upon their lives. Unlike the wolf and the bear which palaeontological evidence suggests that inhabited this island, the badger is no threat to humanity and should not be exterminated.
The bovine TB comes from poisonous slurry tanks not the badger.
It cannot be a mark of a civilised government that it slaughters other species just to appease a noisy section of its supporters. Good for you, and good for Lorraine, but shame on the Nat-Socs generally. We can expect nothing better from Plaid, their endless whinging and blaming of anything that moves is naturally prone to acts of destructiveness, but as for Labour ...
Well done Peter.

Penyffordd District
dCongratulations to you, Trish Law and Lorraine Barrett and, I can also respect the views of Alun Davies, Labour AM, in favour of the cull as he explained his views in detail. What repels myself and my wife were the four identical Conservative AM letters in favour of the cull. Unthinking, supine Lobby fodder. So much for David Cameron's brave words in the Commons wanting a more independent legislature.
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