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.

You can Email Protection 4 Animals by Clicking Here.

Related Articles

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 →

Related Articles

Advertisements

Ban Puppy Farms UK Veronica Smith

What you can do

It’s time Parliament did something about the puppy trade.

The fact that puppies can be sold in pet shops and by vendors trading through the internet and newspaper advertisements is the reason that puppy farms exist. Every major independent organisation involved in animal welfare opposes the principle of puppies being sold as a retail commodity and recommends that puppies should only be purchased direct from a responsible breeder.

The legislation which governs the retail sale of pet animals was introduced 60 years ago and has had only minor amendments since then. When it was introduced there was no internet, no mobile phone network and less than 50% of households had a landline telephone.Five years ago, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 was passed and hailed by Defra as a major step forward which would raise standards in every area. Scotland has its own similar law.

It made the process of introducing secondary legislation to address specific issues relatively straightforward. One of the issues which were supposed to be addressed in this way within five years, at least in England, was the outdated Pet Animals Act 1951. The lack of progress on this matter was highlighted as a concern in the Post Legislative Assessment of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 prepared for the Commons Select Committee overseeing Defra in December 2010.

We think it’s time for all of us who think Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and her officials have their collective heads buried in the sand, to let our constituency MPs know that we also don’t accept the current position and want to know when the original intentions are going to be put into action.

The British Parliament only has powers to make new regulations for England, but if they do, it will strengthen the case for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly to follow suit. So even if you live in Scotland or Wales, getting your MP to raise the issue is well worthwhile.We’ve drafted a suggested message which can be emailed to your MP by following the steps below. It shouldn’t take more than about a minute to make your views known

  •  STEP 1
  • Click on the link below to find your MP’s contact details
  • http://findyourmp.parliament.uk
  • Enter your postcode in the Search box and click ‘Find MP’
  • Click on the member’s name for their contact details.
  • Note how they prefer to be addressed as Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss/Sir etc.
  • Click on the email link to open an email on your computer addressed to them.
  • STEP 2
  • Copy the message below and paste it into the email message you’ve opened. Of course you can change any of the content if you wish – it’s only a suggestion.
  • Remember to also copy the subject line into the subject box of your mail.
  • Add the preferred method of address after the opening ‘Dear’
  • Add your own name and home address at the end. You need to give your address so they know you are one of their constituents
  • STEP 3
  • Click ‘Send’
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for helping.
  • Think whether you know anyone else who would also like to help and send them an email – suggested text to copy under ‘Friends email’
  • If you’re on Facebook, perhaps you could also post a link here on your page

MESSAGE TO YOUR MP

Subject: The sale of puppies in pet shops and by dealers.

Dear [add preferred mode of address]

I would be grateful for your assistance in raising an issue with the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

It is widely acknowledged that puppies sold in pet shops are almost exclusively the product of puppy farms. In addition, there is a substantial trade in puppy farmed dogs conducted by dealers via the internet and local newspaper advertising.

The conditions in which these puppies are bred are appalling. Many of the breeding establishments supplying the trade are in Ireland or operating without a licence in the UK. There is also substantial evidence of a lack of consistency by local authorities in monitoring and enforcing even basic health and welfare standards at UK breeders which have been granted a licence.

Whilst there are some moves towards tightening the licensing regime for breeders in Wales, and hopefully soon in England and Scotland, pet shops and traders are free to buy stock from anyone they wish, regardless of whether the supplier is subject to UK law, or operating illegally.

Every major independent organisation concerned with animal welfare has expressed the view that dogs are not a retail commodity and recommended that puppies should only be purchased direct from a responsible breeder.

The current legislation governing the sale of animals in pet shops, the Pet Animals Act 1951, is now 60 years old. The welfare provisions it makes, which must be met by the conditions imposed by licensing authorities, simply do not reflect current best practice, nor do they cover the retail methods used in the 21st century.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 made provision for the introduction of secondary legislation to address specific issues. At the time of its introduction, Defra stated that one of the areas it intended to address in this way within 5 years of the Act coming into force was the sale of pet animals.I would like to know when the Secretary of State intends to instruct her officials at Defra to put in motion the process to replace the current outdated legislation and whether it is her intention that the sale of puppies by third parties will be prohibited.

Yours faithfully [Your name] [Your home address]


FRIENDS EMAIL

Subject: Is it wrong to sell puppies in pet shops?

I thought you might be interested in this campaign. If like me, you believe the sale of puppies in pet shops and by dealers is wrong, and even worse, fuels the evil puppy farm trade, would you be prepared to spend about 60 seconds to send a message to those who have the power to do something about it?

When Defra introduced the Animal Welfare Act 2006, they said they intended to use the powers it gave to introduce secondary legislation to replace the current Pet Animals Act 1951, which governs pet shop licensing. So far they have done nothing, although leading welfare organisations have expressed concern. You can add your voice by asking your MP to find out when action will be taken at http://www.puppylovecampaigns.org/whatyoucando.shtml

If you have other friends who might also be willing to join in, please forward this mail to them.


Contact us if you have purchased a sick puppy giving us details of seller. Also contact Trading Standards and the local council who license the seller. Other ways to help are listed below.

Stop Buying Dogs from Puppy Farms

  • Licensed dog breeders
  • Pet shops licensed to sell animals

They should give you the full name and address of these premises, plus for dog breeders, the number of dogs they are licensed to have, and for pet shops, what animals they are licensed to sell.

While writing to them, please also ask the last dates that these premises were inspected and the results of the inspection. You can ask for a copy of the latest inspection report but you must do this under The Freedom Of Information Act.

You can find out details of your local authority here.

Please e-mail this information to us.

2. Watch the Channel 5 puppy farm investigation and forward it to all your friends.

With our help Channel 5 exposed pet shop “Dogs 4 Us”, which has branches in Manchester and Leeds, as retailers of sick puppy farm puppies. See the film here: investigations

There are many pets shops in the UK selling puppies from puppy farms, so long as puppy farmers have this vehicle to sell puppies they will continue to subject dogs to this suffering. Pet shops must be stopped from selling puppies.

3. Join a protest near you – or organise your own

Find out what’s going on in your area by visiting the Puppy Love forum.

These protests have successfully convinced pet shops to stop selling puppies, so please join if you can or organise your own.

4. Raise public awareness in your area

Download posters and fliers to hand out in your area. You can also write to your local paper to explain the issues, ask people to adopt from shelters and ask them to get involved.

5. Support your local animal shelter

They have to deal with the non-stop flow of unwanted animals and need all the help they can get. They are always in need of volunteers and donations so please help if you can.

6. Contact your local MP

Tell them your concerns about dog breeding, puppy farms and the rise of stray dogs in the UK and ask them what they are doing about it.

You can find and send message to your MP here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/


Please help our campaign, just right click on posters then “Save Image As…” or “Save Picture As…” then print out and display, thank you.

Good places to display are vets,groomers, and hairdressers.

Images are sized to fill an A4.

Click the leaflet to see it full size. This is a double sided leaflet which folds into three sections.

leaflet1a

Click the poster to see it full size.

leaflet1b

Pigs Abused At UK Abattoir By Staff Punching & Burning Them With Cigarettes.

Animal Aid secretly installed four cameras inside Elmkirk Cheale Meats Ltd, an Essex slaughterhouse that claims to uphold high standards of animal welfare. The video shows pigs hit in the face with bats, incorrectly stunned and dragged by their ears to slaughter.

The campaign group claims the footage shows widespread breaches of animal welfare law and is demanding the Government takes legal action.
But the Department for the Department Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced it will not prosecute Cheale Meats, in Brentwood, because campaigners trespassed to obtain the footage.

One part of the video shows a man punching a pig in the face. (Picture from Video)

Defra lawyers cited two previous cases of animal cruelty which collapsed after similar footage was ruled inadmissible in court. Sky News has found examples of successful court cases which relied on footage obtained by trespassing campaign groups or activists filming undercover.

In 1998, Steve Gills was convicted of beating elephants with an iron bar after he was secretly filmed at Mary Chipperfield‘s Circus.

In 2006, workers at a Bernard Matthews farm in Norfolk were convicted of cruelty after they were caught-on-camera hitting turkeys with metal poles.

But DEFRA said the circumstances surrounding every legal case are different, including how the evidence was obtained, the availability of other evidence, whether there has been an admission of guilt and whether the evidence is challenged.

Animal Aid footage shows a pig being tormented by abattoir workers armed with bats. (Picture from Video)

A DEFRA spokesperson was unavailable for interview but they issued the following statement: “Defra takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously. Where video evidence has been obtained unlawfully through trespass, there is very little prospect of securing a conviction.

“So far as Cheale Meats is concerned, The Food Standards Agency has not referred the case to Defra’s lawyers for a decision on whether a prosecution should be brought.” Given the source of this material, Elmkirk would not accept that all or any of the activities shown on this video relate to their premises.
Elmkirk’s lawyer

The RSPCA says a solution is for independently monitored CCTV to be installed in abattoirs. RSPCA prosecutor, Sally Case, said: “Not only would CCTV act as a deterrent, it would also provide proper, admissible evidence of any offending.”

It is a move that has the backing of UK supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-op. Sainsbury’s said many of its meat suppliers had already installed CCTV cameras and expected all their abattoirs to be monitored by the end of 2011.

Jamie Foster, solicitor for Elmkirk, said the footage had been obtained unlawfully and his client has had CCTV installed for ten years. “Given the source of this material, Elmkirk would not accept that all or any of the activities shown on this video relate to their premises. “A complaint has been made to Essex Police by our clients in relation to any unlawful entry into our client’s premises by an employee of Animal Aid. The outcome of that complaint is awaited.”

The Food Standards Agency says it has revoked the licence of one slaughterman in the footage and increased the level of monitoring at the plant.

Here a worker uses a cigarette to burn a pig’s face. (Picture from Video)

The RSPB also claims to have secured more than twenty prosecutions after hiding cameras on private land to catch gamekeepers persecuting birds-of-prey.
Kate Fowler, Animal Aid’s Head of Campaigns, said similar cases covertly filmed by the group were dropped after there was a change of government.
“DEFRA were bringing case after case and one even got to court. Then literally within four weeks of the new Government coming in, all these cases were dropped.”

Warning: The link below contains distressing images: The video shows pigs hit in the face with bats, incorrectly stunned and dragged by their ears to slaughter.

http://t.co/oLIt1PV

First Published:  Friday July 29, 2011, Sky News investigations team