21 Jul 2011

Caroline Lucas 'Don't blame the badgers'


Great to see this from Caroline.

Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas, who is an honorary vice president of the RSPCA and a longtime campaigner on animal protection issues, said:

"The decision by Defra to give the go-ahead for a barbaric slaughter of badgers in our countryside shows a shocking disregard for animal welfare - and flies in the face of scientific evidence on the spread of bovine TB.

"The belief that badger culling represents an effective solution has already been disproven.

"After a nine year randomised cull trial which cost the UK taxpayer £50m and destroyed 10,000 badgers, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB concluded that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain'.

"Even the Government adviser responsible for a 10-year experimental cull in the 1990s, Lord Krebs, has now rejected the method.

"Perhaps it is this lack of evidence to support the policy that has made Defra so reluctant to publish the results of its consultation."

Caroline continued: "Eighty per cent of bovine TB transmission is thought to be caused by cattle-to-cattle infection.

"Given that it is a respiratory disease, this high rate can be attributed to the trend towards intensive dairy farming, in which cattle are kept in crowded conditions.

"Rather than cruel and ineffective mass culling, restrictions on cattle movement and contact between badgers and cattle should be given high priority, in addition to greater efforts to introduce a vaccination programme.


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