Monday, 14 June 2010

Back off Badgers!

I had a message from the RSPCA this morning about a potential badger cull in England. The cull is an attempt from the government to control bovine TB. The cull is mentioned in the government coalition document where it states that "the government will undertake action against bovine TB on a science based approach".

What is Bovine TB (bTB)?

There are several reasons why a cull of badgers is not the way forward.

Following a ten year study, the latest science shows that a badger cull would have to exist over a very large area and virtually wipe out the badger population over a number of years in order to achieve ANY reduction in bovine TB.

The study also shows that a cull in a local area increases bovine TB in the cattle based in the surrounding areas and actually achieves a limited reduction in the targeted area. Basically science has shown that culling badgers has only a limited benefit in small areas or in areas where there is not a complete cull. Therefore the benefit is outweighed by the increase in bovine TB elsewhere.

How to Help
Contact your MP by following this link which will direct you to the RSPCA Campaign site and enter your details. If you have time please make a few additions to the e-mail they have already prepared and let your MP know what you think about this issue. The website also allows you to share the campaign on Facebook and Twitter as well as forwarding to a friend.

The badger cull was last under discussion back in 2006. Over 47,000 people responded to the governments proposal and stated that they did not want the cull to go ahead. The government then looked into other ways of combating bovine TB and one of the suggested alternatives, badger vaccination, was due to begin in June. If the badger cull does go ahead it would be difficult to measure which method, badger vaccination or a badger cull affected changes in the disease patterns.
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