Today (19th July), an item was posted on thisissomerset.co.uk titled ‘Shooting badgers will cost farmers more’, written by Adrian Coward, chairman of the Somerset Badger Group.
‘… Rejection of the Badger Trust Judicial Review is a tragic result for badgers, cattle, farming and tourism.
Thousands of healthy badgers will now be killed or maimed, and probably totally exterminated from areas of our county because the cull is going ahead without knowing how many badgers there are. There is no pride in this for proud Somerset people.
Although farmers may see a marginal reduction in cattle TB within the cull areas, those at the perimeter can expect an increase in incidence of this terrible disease.
It has been admitted by Government, but seldom if ever publicised by the farming unions, that even if the ‘cheap’ option of shooting free running badgers is allowed to continue, the end result will be a large nett cost to farmers even with a minimal improvement in the incidence of TB over nine years.
The real problem of ineffective cattle testing will perpetuate with very many false negatives left to infect other animals.
This problem has recently been proved to be very significant because of the masking effect on testing, where cattle have the very common and widespread liver fluke infection.
False positives will continue to go to slaughter unnecessarily leaving farmers with partial compensation for uninfected cattle with less than half those slaughtered resulting in a ‘confirmed’ status after inspection at the slaughterhouse.
This goes to prove that killing badgers is a face-saving side show to divert attention away from tackling the real problem within our cattle herds and securing the only lasting solution of a cattle vaccine.
Those tourists that come to West Somerset in the culling period will have to endure the sound of widespread gunfire in the knowledge that thousands of badgers are being killed and maimed.
This is no less distressing for residents who find it hard to believe that our Government have consciously sanctioned such activity. Despite claims to the contrary, the use of high powered rifles at night will be a real threat to the safety of anyone venturing out.
If you care enough to want to stop this slaughter then take action now. At the very least write to your MP.
It will be an even sadder day when badgers are near extinction in our county and the problem of cattle TB is still bringing our farming neighbours to their knees! …’
Read the item and be the first to add your comment online at www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Shooting-badgers-cost-farmers/story-16562844-detail/story.html