Letter: Badgers paying dearly for the political careers of some
Badgers are paying with their lives to keep a few Conservative MPs in their seats. This is all to do with the strong lobbying power of the farmers' organisations, that see the culling of badgers as an advantage to themselves.
It has still not been proven that there is a link between bovine TB and badgers. Why was it that five years ago DEFRA in England decided after taking scientific evidence, that a cull was not appropriate?
Why is it that the coalition has interpreted the scientific evidence so differently? Badgers are wild animals and upsetting the natural balance by culling them will have unknown detrimental effects on the environment.
I understand that there are cattle on the Isle of Man with bovine TB, yet there is no badger population on the island. It evidentially doesn't need badgers to spread the disease. Also, after an extensive cull of badgers in the Republic of Ireland, it was reported that the cull had no significant effect on the spread of bovine TB.
It is not possible to only cull diseased badgers, because there is no reliable test to identify them without doing an autopsy. Therefore, this means that most of the badgers killed in any cull will be disease free, because the available evidence shows that the vast majority of badgers are free from bovine TB.
The RSPCA believes that "cattle-based measures such as testing and increased bio-security should and must underpin the fight against the spread of this disease, not a half-baked proposal which offers no welfare benefit to either farm animal or wildlife."
While badgers are not an endangered species at the present time, they are a protected species and under the Wild Animals Protection Act 1996 and the new Animal Welfare Laws, they are entitled to protection from pain, suffering and persecution.
I hope that people that care about British wildlife will remember this when it is time to vote in the next General Election.
Lorraine Parker, Much Wenlock
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