Today (7th August), an item was posted on thisiscornwall.co.uk titled ‘Badger cull will put people in countryside at risk’.
‘… In reply to Pippa Woods, chairman of the Family Farmers’ Association (WMN July 27) I would say yes it would be wonderful to just cull sick badgers, but we would need to trap and test them first, so I am happy with that. We could inoculate them at the same time! …
But in relation to the rest of the letter, the science states that culling up to 70% of badger population – sick and healthy badgers, it does not matter – over nine long years will result in a 16% fall in bTB in cattle, but what that means is 84% of the problem remains. This is the science like it or not!
Now with this cull and the skeleton structure of the badger, high velocity rounds are required for the best chance of a clean kill and these rounds can travel some two to three miles in the countryside.
Now Natural England will issue permits to cull badgers in certain areas to “‘Gun Syndicates” who will work with farmers. Farmers may be members of these syndicates.
Now my question is will the Family Farmers’ Association and the National Farmers’ Union be writing to all the hotels, bed & breakfast, camp sites, holiday homes and outdoor activities centres to tell them when and where these syndicates will be out shooting with their high velocity weapons? I am sure the police will be informed about this dreadful and manic situation, as the countryside will be unsafe for people to walk home after a few too many at the local or ramblers who either had one too many for the route or simply got lost. It could be a long sleep at the camp site as a long range bullet arrives to kiss you good night!
The government buzz at present is to reduce red tape regarding Health and Safety issues, but with high velocity rounds whizzing around the countryside I would have thought that a full risk assessment would be legally required for this madness to proceed.
But the bottom line is the cull locations currently earmarked, West Somerset and West Gloucestershire, are in the most pro-hunt and pro-blood sports areas simply as a way to attempt to roll them out to other more traditional holiday locations which are naturally worried about the effect on tourism in these difficult times.
Interestingly at the meeting in the Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton (July 20), regarding the badger cull it was noted that the Isle of Man which does not have a badger population suffered an outbreak of bTB in cattle. However, following a tidy up of cattle management procedures the outbreak was short lived, the solution to this problem lies in the hands of the farmers and it is not the fault of the badger …’
Read the item and add your comment online at www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Badger-cull-people-countryside-risk/story-16664649-detail/story.html