Email received January 28 2010 "I write with regard to your article about Hilary Benn's justification for not culling Badgers":
January 28 2010 ~ Is Hilary Benn's justification out of date?
The Farmers Guardian reports today on Hilary Benn's letter to the Guardian in which he said:
"...My decision against a badger cull was made after careful consideration of the scientific evidence, practicality and public acceptability, following discussions with farmers, vets and wildlife groups.But while many will sympathise with Mr Benn's distaste for badger culling, the overview of the 67 page Badgers and cattle TB: the final report of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB the Fourth Report of Session 2007 - 08 of the EFRA committee - show that a subsequent review of the ISG's Final Report, produced at the Government's request,
We have tried badger culling, but the conclusion of the Independent Scientific Group was that badger culling 'cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control' of TB in cattle in Britain..."
"..produced a different interpretation of the same basic data. Both reports said that badger culling would have an overall beneficial effect. However, whilst the ISG concluded that culling would make a "modest difference" in the incidence of cattle TB, the King report concluded that at 300km2, culling "would have a significant effect on reducing TB in cattle".2The more recent TB Eradication Group's 'Developing a Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England', (38 page pdf file) in its Executive Summary (October 2009) said
"3. There is no single measure which will achieve the eradication of bovine TB. We will need to have in place and use a range of tools: effective diagnostic tests; targeted cattle controls; and vaccination for badgers and cattle; and to remain open to the possibility of using badger culling. ...." (Read in full)
I write with regard to your article about Hilary Benn's justification for not culling Badgers
Hilary Benn lists those as finding a cull unacceptable as the "General Public".
I find Hilary Benn's attitude to farming unacceptable. Do not farmers have feelings that need to be considered as well as the General Public - who do not have to deal with the every day horror of TB whether it be in badgers or cattle?
He dismisses how farmers feel and puts the general public first who are totally divorced from the horror.
My farm seems to be under attack from everything that has absolutely nothing to do with agriculture. TB hangs over us like the sword of Damocles.
The Green Belt is to be built upon with thousands of houses swamping our farm.
Our first 4 cows of this spring's 45 suffered abortion. Imagine how we felt having had to buy a new bull and left wondering what was going on with the cows. (Our beautiful Hereford Bull was riddled with TB despite having had FIVE clear tests previously so was slaughtered- leaving us having to buy a new bull.) Blood tests from these four cows revealed NEOSPORA. A parasite found in dog excrement from people who wander around and refuse to stay on footpaths. They of course have been banned from taking dogs into parks and playgrounds etc but it is OK to wander on to anyone's farm where food is being produced.
I do honestly wonder why we bother. As my husband feels - let the ...........s starve!!! Sorry about that last bit but at the end of my tether.
JB (name and address supplied)