WAV Comment – So now the government are suddenly going to change their goalposts again. Big talk from the new Minister; who is known to most as ‘Useless Eustace’; about how effective the cull has been; but the reality is that the government has quite literally murdered thousands of animals for very little gain – and now they know that the British public hate them for what they are doing, suddenly, out of the hat; that ‘no can do’ ‘vaccination’, which welfare groups have been calling for over many years; suddenly appears on the doorstep and is going to be introduced. Once again; the government (Conservatives) have now been pushed into a corner and have no way of getting out – other than to do what was asked years ago; and for which they said ‘never’.
Funny how things change when you get no results of your mass murders; farmers that don’t do biosecurity, especially at markets, and the public turns against you en masse – that is the Conservatives and Mr Useless.
Badger culling to tackle TB in livestock to be phased out
The government also has plans to vaccinate more badgers, which can transmit TB to livestock.
Intensive badger culling to tackle TB in livestock will be gradually phased out and a cattle vaccine for the disease will be deployed, the government has announced.
The next phase of the government’s strategy to tackle bovine tuberculosis in cattle will involve field trials of a cattle vaccine – expected to be deployed within the next five years.
There are also plans vaccinate more badgers – which can transmit TB to livestock – against the disease as well as a “gradual phasing out of intensive culling” of the wild animals, the Environment Department (Defra) said.
Badger culling in the UK is currently permitted under licence within a set area and timescale in a bid to reduce badger numbers to control the spread of bovine TB, which devastates with the beef and dairy industries.
The disease affects cattle and other farm animals including pigs, goats and sheep, as well as some species of wildlife including deer and a few domestic pets.
Badger culling, using “free shooting”, was trialled in two pilot areas in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset in 2013 with the aim of assessing its humaneness.
Despite wildlife and animal welfare groups arguing that culling is inhumane and ineffective, the badger cull has been rolled out to 40 areas of England.
The government said culling has led to a decline in TB cases in herds of 66% and 37% over the first four years in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
But its new strategy intends to phase out the intensive culling policy and replace it with badger vaccination schemes supported by the government.
Culling would remain an option where disease assessment indicated it was needed.
The move has been made possible by a breakthrough by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha), allowing for field trials of a cattle vaccine to be deployed within a few years.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The badger cull has led to a significant reduction in the disease as demonstrated by recent academic research and past studies.
“But no-one wants to continue the cull of this protected species indefinitely so, once the weight of disease in wildlife has been addressed, we will accelerate other elements of our strategy, including improved diagnostics and cattle vaccination to sustain the downward trajectory of the disease.”
UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss added: “Whilst there is no single way to combat this damaging and complex disease, cattle vaccination will be a new tool for our multi-pronged approach to tackle it and, importantly, prevent it, providing vital support to our farming communities.”
The government also has plans to improve the cattle testing regime to intercept the disease earlier and remove it from herds more quickly.
Previous culling methods included trapping badgers in cages before shooting them.
The badger made a mess of the perfume section after it dropped in: