‘MPs inflict badger cull defeat on government – as it happened’

Posted on October 25, 2012

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Today (25th October), an item was posted on guardian.co.uk titled ‘MPs inflict badger cull defeat on government – as it happened’.

‘… 11.43 BST   Today sees the first ever debate in the House of Commons on the controversial badger cull in England, giving MPs their first chance to vote on the policy. The debate was won by the public after over 150,000 signed a government e-petition started by musician Brian May. That prompted the Commons backbench select committee to allot six hours for the debate. I’ll be live blogging throughout and would very much welcome your comments below the line or by Twitter @dpcarrington – whether you support or oppose the cull.

11.46 BST    And we’re off with fighting talk from Labour’s Denis McShane: “We say no to badgercide.”

11.48 BST   Green party MP Caroline Lucas is leading the debate but gives way quickly to a Conservative who says farmers argue that the cull is an necessary, though unwanted, measure in curbing TB in cattle. Lucas rejects that and says the misleading information is coming from farmers.

11.52 BST   Ex-farming minister Jim Paice cites the vet who ran the RBCT – Prof John Bourne – as saying that TB could not be eradicated without eradicating it in badgers. I’m not sure about that, When I talked to Bourne at length recently he was clear that only better cattle movement and testing would work …

17.20 BST   So that’s it. MPs have voted through the following motion by a majority of 119.

That this House notes the e-petition on the planned badger cull, which has gathered more than 150,000 signatures; and calls on the Government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.

It seems unlikely to me that this vote alone will stop the cull going ahead next summer. But there are plenty of major obstacles for ministers to overcome – public and scientific opinion, legal challenges, cost and logistics and – if it is to proceed …’

Read the item in full and add your comment online at www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/25/badgers-wildlife

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