Science Advisor says Badger Cull Plan is a ‘Crazy Scheme’

The Scientist whose Research is being cited by the UK Government to Justify its Plan to Cull (KILL) Badgers in England has described the scheme as “Crazy”.

Lord Krebs spoke to BBC News after the government’s environment advisory body Natural England has issued a culling licence to a consortium of landowners in Gloucestershire.

The cull is intended to control the spread of TB in cattle.

The scientist whose research is being cited by the government to justify its plan to cull badgers in England has described the scheme as “crazy”.

Lord Krebs spoke to BBC News after the government’s environment advisory body Natural England has issued a culling licence to a consortium of landowners in Gloucestershire.

The cull is intended to control the spread of TB in cattle.

Some badgers can carry TB and pass it on to cattle

Some badgers can carry TB and pass it on to cattle

 

Both groups will then have to show that they can pay for the culling and shoot them in sufficient numbers before full licences are granted. BBC News has been told that these could be issued in three weeks and intensive culling could begin immediately.

The culls will be monitored by an independent group for a period of six weeks. If the body is satisfied that the culls are effective and humane it will advise ministers to continue the trials for four years.

This would pave the way for further applications. Natural England will issue a maximum of 10 licences each year – with future culls.

The culls are intended to reduce TB in cattle by some 16% over nine years in the immediate area. Across England though the effect is much smaller, around 5%.

The aim of the pilot schemes is to assess the effectiveness of the government’s plan to slow down the spread of TB in cattle in England. The Welsh government has opted for a system of vaccination while Scotland is officially TB-free.

Lord Krebs is a respected science adviser to government

Lord Krebs is a respected science adviser to government

Lord Krebs is a Respected Science Adviser to the UK Government

The plan is based on the results of a nine-year trial which showed that the spread of the disease could be slowed slightly if more than 70% of badgers in an area could be eradicated. If it was less than 70% – the spread of TB to cattle might even increase.

But the scientist who carried out the study has told BBC News that these pilot studies make no sense.

Lord Krebs, who is one of the government’s most respected scientific advisers, said that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which is administering the scheme, has no way of knowing how many badgers there are in the area, so will not know when they’ve killed 70% of the badgers in the area.

“I would go down the vaccination and biosecurity route rather than this crazy scheme that may deliver very small advantage, may deliver none. And it’s very hard to see how Defra are going to collect the crucial data to assess whether it’s worth going ahead with free shooting at all,” he said.

Defra has said that it would be using data from previous studies and would commission its own research to estimate badger numbers.

According to Prof Sir Robert Watson, a former science adviser to Defra, which is overseeing the process, culling alone will not solve the problem.

Former science advisor Prof Robert Watson- 'Badger culling alone not a solution'

Former science advisor Prof Robert Watson- ‘Badger culling alone not a solution’

Former science advisor Prof Robert Watson: ‘Badger culling alone not a solution’

“Culling won’t solve the problem nationally (across England),” he told BBC News in a recent interview.

“But farmers in Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire are arguing that it can get between a 16% and 20% reduction which they think is significant and that they are willing to pay for.”

The culls are paid for by local groups of farmers and carried out by private contractors. Prof Watson said that he himself questioned whether the cost of the culls would be economically worthwhile.

“I would say the economics is very close as to whether it is worth it. But the government has made a decision that (it should be tried if farmers are willing to fund it),” he said.

“The question (then) is: ‘Is it a significant effect? Is it cost effective? Is it socially and ethically appropriate?”

The Pilot Areas

  • West Gloucestershire pilot area description: mainly in the county of Gloucestershire, predominantly within the council districts of the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury, and parts lie within the districts of Wychavon, Malvern Hills and the south east part of the county of Herefordshire. The area does not include the public forest estate in the Forest of Dean.

  • West Somerset pilot area description: located in the county of Somerset. The application area predominantly lies within the council district of West Somerset and part lies within the district of Taunton Deane.

  • Source: Natural England

Animal welfare and wildlife campaigners have opposed the cull, which will allow wild badgers to be shot when they come out at night, but lost their fight in the High Court last week.

Defra says the action is necessary to protect cattle from bovine TB, which leads to the slaughter of thousands of cattle each year.

Defra Minister David Heath said: “Our priority has always been to ensure that any culling of badgers is carried out in a safe, humane and effective way.

“The licence for Gloucestershire issued by Natural England today meets all the strict criteria we imposed, and the pilot in this area will help us assess the effectiveness of controlled shooting before we look at a wider roll out to control the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

“No one wants to kill badgers but the science is clear that we will not get on top of this disease without tackling it in both wildlife and cattle.”

Plans to begin culling in Wales were recently abandoned in favour of a vaccination policy. There are no proposals to cull badgers in Scotland, where TB incidence is low.

Source: BBC

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals supports the total banning of the Fur Trade. Currently while officially Dog and Cat Fur is banned in many countries, this does not apply to the Raccoon Dogs being Skinned Alive for their Fur.

Make no mistake this is a Barbaric process carried out by Brutal Chinese workers, that Beat the Dogs with Iron Bars, Kick Stomp, Slam them against concrete walls/floors to stop them struggling.

Then the Fur is Slowly Torn from their bodies in the most agonising and sickening way. They are then thrown to one side where they suffer the most horrendous deaths, that can last up to 3 hours.

Please Sign Our Petition To Stop Raccoon Dogs Being Skinned Alive and Suffering a Slow, Sickening, Horrendous Deaths. Click Here To Sign Our Petition These poor animals need your support, tell all your friends and family, thank you.

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Brian May: Me and My Animal Passions

He is one the World’s Best Guitarists He’s written some of the most memorable rock anthems of all time, and his band ‘Queen’ is a Global Phenomenon. But it’s not music he wants to be remembered for his Animal Welfare … Continue reading → 

Badger Torn to Shreds by Dogs as Men Cheered

The High Court in Belfast has heard a Badger was Torn to Shreds by Dogs as a Group of So Called ‘Men’ Cheered on the Pit Bulls. The claim was made by a Prosecution Lawyer during a hearing for two… Continue reading →

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Robot Deer Used To Catch Poachers

Photo Provided by Florida Fish and Wildlife of Robot Deer

SALT LAKE CITY — Nighttime deer poachers beware – that shadowy creature on the side of the road may just be remote-controlled.

State wildlife officials across the country have for several decades been rolling out roadside robot decoys to nab unscrupulous hunters, and the effort has paid off with hundreds of citations.

A robotic deer decoy used in Georgia had to be replaced in 2006 after being shot more than 1,000 times.

“It’s a time of year when some Utahns can’t resist the sight of a big buck on the side of the road – even if shooting hours are over for the day,” said Amy Canning, a spokeswoman for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Utah’s five DWR regions now each have their own robot decoys, which are deployed in various spots along roadways where deer often gather or where poachers have been a problem in the past.

Hunting is not allowed at night in Utah, starting a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise, but authorities say the sight of a big deer on the side of a road can just be too tempting for some.

Once a plan is in place, authorities put the mechanical deer near a road where it can be seen by passing cars. Then they hide nearby and keep watch, waiting for someone to take the bait, occasionally using the remote control to move the decoy’s head and tail “to make it look as realistic as possible,” said Utah DWR Sgt. Matt Briggs.

“We try to mimic some of the movement that takes place in the field,” he said.

Hunters will generally use headlights to illuminate the deer, then take their shot. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bow and arrow or a rifle – if it’s at night, it’s illegal without special permission, Briggs said.

The shooters in Utah are issued a class B misdemeanor citation, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Authorities also seize their weapons.

Briggs said he’s seen it all, from bow hunters shooting multiple arrows at the inanimate robot deer, amazed that it’s not going down, to shooters with rifles repeatedly firing shots at the mechanical beast.

“I’ve seen an individual shoot it with a 30-06 (rifle) and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t go down after he hit it five or six times,” Briggs said. “It can be really entertaining.”

Elsewhere, poachers are catching on, and have become wary of shooting from the road not only for fear of arrest, but of the embarrassment that comes along with it, said Lt. Bill Bruce of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. His state’s decoy was effective for about 10 years, but wasn’t deployed last year after it became less useful.

“If somebody gets caught shooting the deer from the road, it ruins their reputation as a hunter,” Bruce said. “Their name goes up on the wall of shame among local hunters.”

Florida officers have also used a robotic deer in all six wildlife regions, said state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Katie Purcell.

“It’s been successful at catching poachers,” Purcell said. “It’s a tool that officers can take to where the violation is actually happening.”

Josh Loftin Huffington Post

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Hare Coursing Banned In Northern Ireland

Permanent Ban for Hare Coursing in Northern Ireland

A permanent ban on hare coursing is to come into into effect on Wednesday.

The environment minister announced new legislation banning the practice from 17 August.

A permanent ban has brought an end to hare coursing in Northern Ireland

Hare coursing is the pursuit of a hare by a pair of hunting dogs, often greyhounds, and is common in rural Northern Ireland.

Critics have consistently argued against the cruelty of the sport and it has been illegal on a temporary basis for a number of years.

But now the ban is permanent and makes it an offence to organise, participate or attend a hare coursing event.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood was pleased to see the law formalised.

“Hare coursing events should not take place in a modern, progressive, civilised society. We all have a responsibility to protect our wildlife and certainly I want to do everything in my power to do that,” he said.

“While hare coursing events in Northern Ireland have been prevented for a number of years on a temporary basis, the ban I am introducing is a permanent one and a positive step forward.”

The new legislation is part of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act, which will become law on 17 August as well.

The Countryside Alliance, which champions rural sports, last year promised to challenge the legislation as it made its way through the assembly.

First Published 17 August 2011 by BBC Northern Ireland website.

Irish Hare under threat from ‘European Brown’ Hare

The Irish hare is under threat from the European ‘brown’ hare, according to a study from Queen’s University.

The Irish hare could be under threat from the European hares

The research has found increasing numbers of the brown hare have set up home in mid-Ulster and west Tyrone.
In March 2011, the Assembly voted to outlaw hare coursing in Northern Ireland to protect the future of the Irish hare.

But Dr Neil Reid from Quercus (Queen’s University’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science), said: “Our native hare remains vulnerable to another serious threat – that of the invading European hare.”

European hares are found in Britain and continental Europe, but they have been highly successful in invading many countries beyond their native range in south-west Europe and parts of Asia.

There have been many studies on their impact on native species. Dr Reid reviewed these studies to get a clearer picture of how much of a threat the invading species might be to the Irish hare.

‘Hybridising’

The study, published in the international journal Biological Invasions, suggested that European hares exhibit strong competition for habitat space and food resources with native species, most notably other hare species.

It also warns that disease and parasite transmission and climate change may give the invading European hare an edge over our native species.

Dr Reid added: “The Irish hare represents an evolutionary unique lineage, which is restricted to Ireland where it has been present since before the last glacial maximum, making it one of our few native mammal species”.

“Hence, it has been isolated for 30,000-60,000 years. So the discovery that both species are hybridising in the wild is very worrying.”

A panel of experts, from the Lagomorph Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an authority on threatened species, signed a foreword to accompany the paper.

They described it as an urgent call for further research and the development of a European hare Invasive Species Action Plan and Eradication Strategy.

It was feared that the Irish hare would lose its protection in Northern Ireland after the Environment Committee decided against putting it on a protection schedule last year.

This decision was later reversed.

The protection order began in 2003 when it was discovered that hare numbers had declined. They have since stabilised.

The Irish hare attracted major conservation concern following a sustained population decline in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s.

First Published 29 March 2011 on the BBC News website.

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Protection 4 Animals is Against Hare Coursing With Dogs, Any Other Hunting With Dogs and All Blood Sports Supports.

The Article has been written and published by Protection 4 Animals.  You can email Protection 4 Animals by clicking here.


Protection 4 Animal Supports Banning Puppy Farms. In the UK, leading the fight is BanPuppyFarmsUK run by Veronica Smith. If you want fruther information or want to help you can follow Veronica on Twitter: @banpuppyfarmsuk or on the Website: http://www.puppylovecampaigns.org

Veronica Smith

Dog lover, full time anti pup farm campaigner. We film undercover in puppy farms at great risk to bring the horrors of puppy farming to you. #freethepupfarmdogs

Police and USPCA Rescue Hunt Stags

A Man Has Been Arrested After The ULSTER SOCIETY of PREVENTION of CRUELTY to ANIMALS (USPCA) and the POLICE SERVICE of NORTHERN IRELAND (PSNI) Seized a Vehicle and Trailer Containing Two Red Deer Stags Which, It Is Thought, Were About To Be Hunted.

The practice known as ‘Carting’ is Illegal and the Hunting Community has long maintained that it doesn’t exist.

PSNI and USPCA Rescue County Down Hunt Stags

The USPCA and PSNI Seized The Vehicle and Trailer

The trailer was registered to the County Down, Northern Ireland Hunt, but the Hunt Master said he “knew nothing about the events”. Although the animals’ antlers had been removed, a vet confirmed they were Red Deer Stags. The vet also said “they were tagged, indicating they had been reared on a farm”. However, the number which might identify exactly who had reared them had been scraped off the tag.

While it is Illegal to Breed Stags for Hunting, it is not Illegal to Hunt Stags in Northern Ireland. However, the practice is banned in the rest of the UK. Stag Hunting was recently outlawed in the Republic of Ireland. Stephen Philpott from the USPCA said “the County Down operation had confirmed the charity’s long-held suspicions”.

“The people that do it pretend that they don’t. They would have you believe that the Red Deer Stags they Hunt they have come across while out riding and that they are actually Wild Animals,” he said.

“We have believed for the last ten years that the animals aren’t wild, but were being bred somewhere and then being brought solely and purposefully to be hunted by dogs and men on horseback and unfortunately it looks as though we were right.”

Cruelty

For over a year the USPCA had been monitoring a group of people they believed were organising stag hunts in County Down. That surveillance led them to conclude that a hunt would start on Tuesday outside Loughbrickland.

Several 4×4 vehicles, horseboxes and horse lorries were observed arriving at the location where the hunt was believed to be starting from and then leaving.

It is believed the stags were to be hunted by dogs and horse riders

It Is Believed The Stags Were To Be Hunted By Dogs and Horse Riders

A woman approached the USPCA Inspector and asked him if he was there for the Hunt.

She then told him that her husband was a Master For The Hunt and that she had received a phone call to say that the Hunt was cancelled and that people should leave the area.

Mr Philpott said he believed that there had been a conspiracy to commit an Offence Under The Welfare of Animals Act.

“How can anyone else call it anything else other than cruelty,” he said.

  • “First of all there’s the stress they suffered in the back of that box, it was pitiful. 
  • “And then to put them through another 20 miles of stress being chased by dogs horses and people. It needs to be put an end to.”

The stags were later released into the wild.

More on This Story

Organised Stag Hunt foiled by PSNI

The USPCA and PSNI have seized a vehicle and trailer containing Two Stags which the USPCA believes were about to be released for Hunting.

The practice, known as ‘Carting‘ is Illegal and the Hunting community has long maintained that it doesn’t exist.

Source: BBC NI.                                                                                                                                                                    

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals supports the total banning of the Fur Trade. Currently while officially Dog and Cat Fur is banned in many countries, this does not apply to the Raccoon Dogs being Skinned Alive for their Fur.

Make no mistake this is a Barbaric process carried out by Brutal Chinese workers, that Beat the Dogs with Iron Bars, Kick Stomp, Slam them against concrete walls/floors to stop them struggling. 

Then the Fur is Slowly Torn from their bodies in the most agonising and sickening way. They are then thrown to one side where they suffer the most horrendous deaths, that can last up to 3 hours.

Please Sign Our Petition To Stop Raccoon Dogs Being Skinned Alive and Suffering a Slow, Sickening, Horrendous Deaths. 
Click Here To Sign Our Petition These poor animals need your support, tell all your friends and family, thank you.

You can Email Protection 4 Animals by Clicking Here.

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