‘Green Party strongly oppose new badger cull pilots on the basis of the scientific evidence, and concerns over animal welfare and public safety’

Posted on September 18, 2012

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Today (18th September), the Green Party issued a media release and posted it on their web-site, titled ‘Green Party strongly oppose new badger cull pilots on the basis of the scientific evidence, and concerns over animal welfare and public safety’.

‘… The Green Party strongly opposes the new badger cull pilots on the basis of the scientific evidence, significant concerns over animal welfare, public safety and ethical concerns.

The scientific  evidence is clear; the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT), a large scale trial of culling concluded that  “badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB”.

They also concluded that other approaches to culling were at best only going to give slightly better results and at worst would have a detrimental effect.

Caroline Allen, veterinary surgeon and Green Party Spokesperson on animal issues said ‘I completely understand the distress this issue causes to farmers and that TB is a serious disease of cattle. However the feeling of frustration and wanting to ‘do something’ must not mean we disregard the facts and ethical considerations. The current plan is a dangerous one.’

The RBCT report concluded that substantial reductions in cattle TB incidence could be achieved by improving cattle-based control measures. These measures must be the focus of funding and research, not another culling ‘trial’.  It is also very unfortunate that the government has chosen to reduce the funding of badger vaccination trials.

In order for a cull to have any hope of ‘success’ a massive area, 150mk2, needs to be covered and it must be sustained for at least four years and at least 70% of the land area must be accessible.

Allen added ‘This is a massive undertaking, there are so many ways in which this cull could go wrong, due to the “pertubation effect”, is likely to result in the incidence of TB actually increasing. When you bear in mind that the measure of success is a reduction in TB of around 15%, i.e. leaving 85% of the disease untouched, this all seems completely nonsensical’ …’

Read the media release and notes at http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2012/09/18/green-party-strongly-oppose-new-badger-cull-pilots-on-the-basis-of-the-scientific-evidence,-and-concerns-over-animal-welfare-and-public-safety/

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