Dark Day for Badgers and Anyone with an Ounce of Commonsense – 5th June 2013

badgers telegraph.co.ukphotocredit : telegraph.co.uk

Well, I didn’t want to have to write a post saying this but I am not totally surprised. Disappointed, angry, sad yes, but surprised I am not. The voting was pretty close.

Parliament voted  against a motion calling for the badger cull to be abandoned, following an Opposition Day debate led by the Labour Party. 250 MPs voted in favour of the motion with 299 MPs voting against. The difference was 49.

49 votes was the difference between life and death for some badgers. 49 votes between sense and nonsense.

So the people that supposedly represent us can vote against scientific evidence. MPs had to be threatened with disciplinary proceedings if they failed to vote as they were instructed to.

It is important to note and this could highlight the way to get smart in the campaign, that there are a group of Conservatives who voted against the cull and who are against foxhunting. When I went to the House of Commons last October to lobby my MP on the cull issue (who is anti cull) I got talking to a lady from Blue Fox, Conservatives Against Foxhunting. She told me that these Tories really need animal advocates’ support as they have a really tough time. I am thinking that working more closely with these might hold the key to influencing and shifting the outcome of future debates.

Pro cull speakers used the false premise that the cull  is pro farmer.The reality is that it is contra farmer as it will eventually be shown that it will not solve the bovine TB problem. As for  Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, playing the weeping farmer card, saying that they feel emotional when they witness their cows giving birth, that is a misrepresentation of reality. Dairy farmers confiscate the calf immediately as they want to snatch the milk to sell for profit.

The farmer’s in his den
The farmer’s in his den
e i e i the farmer’s in his den

The cow births a calf
The cow births a calf
e i e i
The cow births a calf

The farmer wants the milk
The farmer wants the milk
e i e i
The farmer wants the milk

The farmer snatches the calf
The farmer snatches the calf
e i e i
The farmer snatches the calf

Only buy milk from Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Asda as they will not be sourcing milk from the cull zones – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/05/badger-friendly-milk-supermarkets

What we have from this Government is not evidence-based policy, but policy-based evidence. As leading scientists have observed, the Government have decided on the policy then sought to cherry-pick the evidence to back it up. Bad science is worse than no science at all, so I will try to confine my words to the science and the evidence, strip out the politics and the polemics, and see where the science leads us. Our argument, as my hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mary Creagh) has said, is that this cull is bad for the farmers, bad for badgers and bad for the taxpayer. A cull could actually worsen TB in badger and cattle populations. Field trials showed that although a structured cull could reduce the increase—I repeat, reduce the increase; take the top off the rise—in bovine TB by 16% after nine years, in the short term it could spread the disease further afield as badgers move from the shooting. Hard boundaries or not, there is a risk that the disease will spread through culling, a risk heightened by this untried and untested approach of licensed shooting.

A cull could cost more than an alternative, such as badger vaccination, not least because of the policing costs—the costs the Government were reluctant to reveal, yet which were completely foreseeable. Dr Rosie Woodroffe’s analysis takes the Government’s own cost estimates of badger vaccination at £2,250 per square kilometre per year, compared with the proposed culling costs at £l,000 per square kilometre per year, but adds the policing costs for the cull, which are £l,429 per square kilometre per year. So vaccination becomes the cheaper option. That analysis does not include the additional costs incurred by culling as a result of performing expensive surveys and carrying out monitoring, both before and after. The Government have tried to promote this cull as a cheap solution, but we are finding out again that cheap solutions often turn out to be very expensive indeed. It is the old adage of, “You buy cheap, you pay twice.”

Badger vaccination could be an effective alternative to the cull. We acknowledge the need to do more work on vaccination, but we already know from tests that vaccination reduces the transmission of M. bovis to other badgers and, combined with typical badger mortality of three to five years, there is good reason to expect the impacts on reducing transmission to cattle to be comparable to those from culling. Moreover, because vaccination does not lead to perturbation and is shown to reduce the proportion of infected badgers, rather than increasing it, as culling does and is proven to do, vaccination should have greater long-term prospects for TB eradication. In addition, because vaccination does not prompt protest and does not incur policing costs, it is cheaper to implement than culling. So was it not a great and capital error for the Government to cancel five of the six vaccination trials, instead of using them to test alternative ways forward? We should be fast-tracking the development of oral vaccines now. It is a bad decision, Ministers, and it is bad science.

What we have from this Government is not evidence-based policy, but policy-based evidence. As leading scientists have observed, the Government have decided on the policy then sought to cherry-pick the evidence to back it up. Bad science is worse than no science at all, so I will try to confine my words to the science and the evidence, strip out the politics and the polemics, and see where the science leads us. Our argument, as my hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mary Creagh) has said, is that this cull is bad for the farmers, bad for badgers and bad for the taxpayer. A cull could actually worsen TB in badger and cattle populations. Field trials showed that although a structured cull could reduce the increase—I repeat, reduce the increase; take the top off the rise—in bovine TB by 16% after nine years, in the short term it could spread the disease further afield as badgers move from the shooting. Hard boundaries or not, there is a risk that the disease will spread through culling, a risk heightened by this untried and untested approach of licensed shooting.

A cull could cost more than an alternative, such as badger vaccination, not least because of the policing costs—the costs the Government were reluctant to reveal, yet which were completely foreseeable. Dr Rosie Woodroffe’s analysis takes the Government’s own cost estimates of badger vaccination at £2,250 per square kilometre per year, compared with the proposed culling costs at £l,000 per square kilometre per year, but adds the policing costs for the cull, which are £l,429 per square kilometre per year. So vaccination becomes the cheaper option. That analysis does not include the additional costs incurred by culling as a result of performing expensive surveys and carrying out monitoring, both before and after. The Government have tried to promote this cull as a cheap solution, but we are finding out again that cheap solutions often turn out to be very expensive indeed. It is the old adage of, “You buy cheap, you pay twice.”

Badger vaccination could be an effective alternative to the cull. We acknowledge the need to do more work on vaccination, but we already know from tests that vaccination reduces the transmission of M. bovis to other badgers and, combined with typical badger mortality of three to five years, there is good reason to expect the impacts on reducing transmission to cattle to be comparable to those from culling. Moreover, because vaccination does not lead to perturbation and is shown to reduce the proportion of infected badgers, rather than increasing it, as culling does and is proven to do, vaccination should have greater long-term prospects for TB eradication. In addition, because vaccination does not prompt protest and does not incur policing costs, it is cheaper to implement than culling. So was it not a great and capital error for the Government to cancel five of the six vaccination trials, instead of using them to test alternative ways forward? We should be fast-tracking the development of oral vaccines now. It is a bad decision, Ministers, and it is bad science.

So the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire will go ahead but that does not mean that it will be rolled out to the rest of the country. We have to regret yes, then regroup, reinforce our message, get smarter and produce a really effective campaign to stop it going any further.

We truly regret that some badgers will be hurt/killed during the implementation of the pilot culls. We did what we could. There are people on the ground who will try to protect them. The anti cull campaign will continue to learn and grow and we will get better at what we do. It is only the beginning that is over………..

http://www.conservativesagainstfoxhunting.com/

To read the debate and to see how your MP voted http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/186/

I have read through large prtions of the debate and the person who I feel puts the pertinent issues accross in a nutshell is Huw Irranca-Davies, MP for Ogmore

What we have from this Government is not evidence-based policy, but policy-based evidence. As leading scientists have observed, the Government have decided on the policy then sought to cherry-pick the evidence to back it up. Bad science is worse than no science at all, so I will try to confine my words to the science and the evidence, strip out the politics and the polemics, and see where the science leads us. Our argument, as my hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mary Creagh) has said, is that this cull is bad for the farmers, bad for badgers and bad for the taxpayer. A cull could actually worsen TB in badger and cattle populations. Field trials showed that although a structured cull could reduce the increase—I repeat, reduce the increase; take the top off the rise—in bovine TB by 16% after nine years, in the short term it could spread the disease further afield as badgers move from the shooting. Hard boundaries or not, there is a risk that the disease will spread through culling, a risk heightened by this untried and untested approach of licensed shooting.

A cull could cost more than an alternative, such as badger vaccination, not least because of the policing costs—the costs the Government were reluctant to reveal, yet which were completely foreseeable. Dr Rosie Woodroffe’s analysis takes the Government’s own cost estimates of badger vaccination at £2,250 per square kilometre per year, compared with the proposed culling costs at £l,000 per square kilometre per year, but adds the policing costs for the cull, which are £l,429 per square kilometre per year. So vaccination becomes the cheaper option. That analysis does not include the additional costs incurred by culling as a result of performing expensive surveys and carrying out monitoring, both before and after. The Government have tried to promote this cull as a cheap solution, but we are finding out again that cheap solutions often turn out to be very expensive indeed. It is the old adage of, “You buy cheap, you pay twice.”

Badger vaccination could be an effective alternative to the cull. We acknowledge the need to do more work on vaccination, but we already know from tests that vaccination reduces the transmission of M. bovis to other badgers and, combined with typical badger mortality of three to five years, there is good reason to expect the impacts on reducing transmission to cattle to be comparable to those from culling. Moreover, because vaccination does not lead to perturbation and is shown to reduce the proportion of infected badgers, rather than increasing it, as culling does and is proven to do, vaccination should have greater long-term prospects for TB eradication. In addition, because vaccination does not prompt protest and does not incur policing costs, it is cheaper to implement than culling. So was it not a great and capital error for the Government to cancel five of the six vaccination trials, instead of using them to test alternative ways forward? We should be fast-tracking the development of oral vaccines now. It is a bad decision, Ministers, and it is bad science”

About rosedixon

Hello. I am Reiki Master Practitoner and Teacher in the Usui/Tibetan Ryoho Tradition a certified Crystal Healing Practitioner and Meditation Teacher. I have given Tarot and Psychic Readings for over 30 years. I have an MA in Psychoanalysis after studying language, symbols, dreams and the unconscious. I founded the School Of Wyrdynamics SOW, which is a school of thought whose intention is the study wyrd and patterns in my own and others' life unfoldments in order to create a healthier and more fulfilling life by maximising choices and positive potentials. Apart from above, other interests are Sociology, Quantum Physics, Qabalah, Ritual and Magickal Theory, Gematria, Animal Welfare and causes...Be The Change You Want to SOW
This entry was posted in Animal Work, Badger Cull, Environment, Foxes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dark Day for Badgers and Anyone with an Ounce of Commonsense – 5th June 2013

  1. davescallon says:

    Rosie, ’tis a bad dark day indeed. But if we are honest, we all knew it would happen. When they failed to get it the first time, the rescheduled it to now, and if we had won, they would just do it again, until they get their way. So they won, and humbugs will die needlessly, and at great expense, and not just money.

    And when it is again proved that it does not work and just costing more money than the country can afford at this time, with the public sector taking the brunt of more cutbacks while the MP’s are getting a payrise. Then the public will change their view, and the MP’s will have to change, or be replaced.

    But those that have put money before Nature will answer for each humbug murdered, either in this life or the next.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s