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Badger cull branded "shambles" by protesters as government seeks extension

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 18, 2013

By Michael Yong

Badger cull branded "shambles" by protesters as government seeks extension

Bill Oddie in Gloucestershire during the badger cull

Comments (8)

Shooters have fallen short of the Government target of badgers to be killed during the Gloucestershire cull.

In the six-week cull period, only 708 badgers have been killed, according to figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

This represents 30 per cent of the revised local badger population of 2,350.

The original target set by Defra was around 2,850 when the cull started six weeks ago, equalling 70 per cent of the badger population.

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Defra also confirmed the cull in Gloucestershire came to an end on Tuesday.

An extension application was submitted last night.

A spokesman from Defra said: "The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has advised that the period of culling this year should be extended to achieve the earliest and greatest possible impact on bovine TB in Gloucestershire.

"The pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset have been testing the safety, humaneness and effectiveness of controlled shooting as a means of reducing badger numbers and therefore reducing the high levels of disease in these areas."

Environment secretary Owen Paterson said: "Experience gained on the ground has been invaluable.

"I would like to pay tribute to the local farmers and landowners who are undertaking the cull, often in difficult terrain and weather, and often in the face of intimidation by a small minority who are determined to stop this disease control policy."

Spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Against the Badger Cull Jeanne Berry said: "This announcement by Owen Paterson, confirms that the Gloucestershire cull has been ill-thought-through. It is clear that the Government did not do the maths before the cull and now they are clutching at straws by attempting to kill more badgers.

"Extending the cull will, as scientists have confirmed, increase the spread of Bovine TB and, of course, increase further police costs."

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8 comments

  • Free2opine  |  October 19 2013, 12:30PM

    Clueless yet again talking rubbish. The Times are quoting figures (guesswork), from opponents of the badger cull. These are NOT official figures. eyeopener is no better. Troublemakers the pair of them. These are TRIALS and lessons will be learned from them, which will be better for the FARMERS and anybody who enjoys their meat products and better for every living mammal in the countryside.

    |   14
  • Charlespk  |  October 19 2013, 8:11AM

    Badgers and bovine TB. The indisputable, historic, scientific facts. http://tinyurl.com/bw7jpxy (open in a new window)

    |   35
  • bonzaharris1  |  October 18 2013, 10:54PM

    Shooters !! Shouldn't they be marksmen, if they are to kill these badgers humanely ??

    |   2
  • MisterH  |  October 18 2013, 10:36PM

    @eyeopener. Firstly, thank you for not thinking about any of the points that I raised. In reply to your post: Its a handful of protesters against people who have the best interests of the farming community at heart; I'm very well aware of the 'subsidies' received by farmers. If you had read my post before smashing out on the keyboard, the cost wouldn't be £2,200 for each badger killed if there hadn't been such a huge police operation to stop anti-cull protesters breaking the law; Basically you're saying that each farm should employ someone who knows nothing about farming to be in charge as he eats the meat? I, and others in the countryside, actually drink milk, and eat beef so therefore we pay ourselves and can pipe whatever tunes we like - if you don't like it then stop eating British Beef!; I have no knowledge of the workings of the Sheffield Steel works so would feel inappropriate to make a comment - I just wish most of the anti-badger brigade would have had some conscious before setting out on a cause they don't understand; No, I get up at 3.30am every morning to milk my cows, to bring in an income to support myself and my family, and to pay taxes so that people who need it have a safety net if things go bad for them. What I don't appreciate is when I get up at 3.30am and find that protesters have vandalized my equipment, and frightened my cattle, or even worse my children. I have had no culling on my land and yet this has happened on many occasions - would you like to explain that?; I disagree with Fox Hunting and do not allow it on my land. Luckily, unlike the badgerists, they will not trespass as they could lose their licenses if they did; Bovine TB can be spread in many ways - I was TB free until 2008, at which time there were proper biosecurity measures in place for all movement of livestock (Which I agree it was stupid to relax in the wake of Foot and Mouth - thus causing many problems ourselves) As badger numbers have increased in our area, more and more farms are getting TB. This was meant to be an EXPERIMENTAL cull. However with all the factors that I mentioned in my previous post, it's now never going to give a definitive answer, which for both sides of the argument is a great shame.

    |   20
  • eyeopener  |  October 18 2013, 9:57PM

    @MisterH You keep characterising this issue as 'townies' versus the country folk. Any other industry would realise that this is consumers versus some of the producers. You want us to buy your products but you don't want us to care how it's produced. You seem to be oblivious to the massive subsidies that your industry receives from 'townies' of which the compensation for cattle destroyed is just one. Then you want us to cough up £2,200 for each badger that is killed. The Americans fought a War of Independence with the slogan "No Taxation Without Representation" and you still haven't grasped that he who pays the piper that calls the tune. Would you feel that just because you came from the country, that you ought not to have a view on an urban issue such as subsidising a Sheffield Steel Works? Of course not! Finally just to take the biscuit you complain about protestors tramping around farms spreading Bovine TB and other communicable diseases. Do you spend all your time asleep in the country? What about the fox hunts that ride rough shod over land, even the land that the owners have forbidden them to cross? What about the farmers at cattle auctions who as a body ignored the carefully provided biosecurity measures? Don't take my word for it. Have a look on YouTube. There are so many examples of Foxhunts invading land that they have been excluded from, so its a bit hypocritical of you to raise such concerns only when it suits you. The biggest irony of all is that if proper biosecurity measures had been practised inappropriate cattle movements would not have taken place and we would not have the prevalence of Bovine TB that we have now.

    |   -6
  • MisterH  |  October 18 2013, 10:39AM

    Surely the police costs will only rise if people keep breaking the law? If all the townies ( and Michael Yong, who has surprisingly written another anti-cull piece - SHOCK HORROR) went back to their sofa's and stopped tresspassing, intimidating and assaulting others then the police costs wouldn't be there at all. Perhaps people should learn to abide by the law? It's also very confusing - one minute the townies are complaining that their beloved badgers are being killed, and now they're complaining that the shambles of a cull hasn't killed enough?! What more do you want... It seems that all of the 'problems' that the townies are coming up with are self caused: Police costs - only ones breaking the law are the anti=cull protesters; not enough badgers culled, so cull is a shambles - maybe if you hadn't been out intimidating the people carrying out the cull then it would have achieved it's objectives, thus leading to a proper results; spread of tb and other communicable diseases - having tramped around farms and sets without any biosecurity measures there could easily be an increase in these diseases meaning any results could be skewed again. Perhaps if you'd given the cull a chance to deliver some ACTUAL results rather than all the propoganda wheeled out by both sides, and the results showed that you had a good reason then the government wouldn't have continued? Just some points to think about.

    |   38
  • Clued-Up  |  October 18 2013, 10:36AM

    Even the "Daily Mail" and "Times" are coming out against the badger cull now ... Their complaints are about the sheer amount of public money being wasted on this nightmare project (already over £2,200 per badger killed). The rest of us would chip in that we don't want to see wanton destruction of our wildlife, we want cattle bTB tackled through vaccination and better cattle management, we're glad to see the back of ministers Heath and Beynon but yearn for Paterson to follow them into political obscurity ...

    |   -4
  • Clued-Up  |  October 18 2013, 10:35AM

    Even the "Daily Mail" and "Times" are coming out against the badger cull now ... Their complaints are about the sheer amount of public money being wasted on this nightmare project (already over £2,200 per badger killed). The rest of us would chip in that we don't want to see wanton destruction of our wildlife, we want cattle bTB tackled through vaccination and better cattle management, we're glad to see the back of ministers Heath and Beynon but yearn for Paterson to follow them into political obscurity ...

    |   1

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