Email received October 3 2009 from a veterinary surgeon, Hugh Coryn
"I would like to support Dr Colin Fink with his idea for drug baiting badger setts with a view to reducing the level of infection and shedding of the occupants.
He has put into words an idea that I and others will no doubt have thought about.
This idea is certainly worth a trial. Should it work it will be a useful alternative to the indiscriminate slaughter and the problems of disturbance and re-colonisation of infected setts.
Even, if it fails it will be a useful lesson in the baiting of setts, since if and when there is a move to vaccination, the vaccine will almost certainly require oral administration.
The farming community and many others are at present totally fixated on the guilt of badgers in the spread of TB and are looking to slaughter, as a silver bullet, to solve the problem for all time. However, in so doing they have failed to ask the fundamental question as to why an eradication programme that worked so well in the period of the forties through to the sixties, is now proving less than adequate?
Is it not time for a review of all the things that have changed in the farming world to see if man has not played a major role in this outbreak.
Mixed farming was then the order of the day, with permanent pastures, little use of fertilisers, rations were very different, no use of pesticides, herd sizes and yields were smaller, housing and management very different, no maize, no forage harvesting - and hay was cut with a knife.
Perhaps, somewhere in all these changes, we have damaged the immune system of both cattle and badgers in a ruthless pursuit of profit. Judging by the price of milk - to no avail.
It is to be hoped that there is someone in DEFRA who is brave enough to turn their computer off and do some original thinking before proceeding with yet another disastrous cull as in the Foot and Mouth debacle."