The Defra Consultation on more 4-year intensive badger cull licences in 10+ new areas, this year and next, ended on 7th April of this year.
Despite the tangled words of the consultation documents, particular assertions stand out, including that “badger culling is working”. Defra have refused to retract their misleading statement or to extend the consultation period. It is now clear that Defra defend their new policy by resting all but completely on one analysis (using only data to 2017) suggesting a much caveated, theoretical estimate of bovine TB (bTB) reduction benefit from killing badgers.
We believe the available data up to 2020 tells a very different story. Recent release of key data for the fourth year of the ‘roll out’ culls (from 2016 onwards) enables levels of bTB to be tracked over the 2010-2020 period. These data suggest that herd breakdowns were under control in the High Risk Area well before badger culling could have become effective. The big picture suggests only that badger culling cannot be said to have worked.
Blog readers may remember that a final written appeal on a High Court hearing permission case in relation to the 2020 policy is still awaiting decision. A further case is stayed on that outcome. In recent weeks, a challenge to the new consultation has been under consideration and legal advice has been engaged with a view to taking prompt action if appropriate.
How long can the pointless, counter-productive killing go on? According to the 2020 policy, this may continue forever. Cattle measures that should have been in place years ago are only being very gradually applied in England, prolonging the agony for farmers. How long before the government stops doing exactly what vested interests demand and ends the flagrant misuse of public funds on scapegoating badgers? It has to stop.
The Badger Crowd was formed in 2017. It is a voice for the public to challenge incorrect process and procedures surrounding the badger cull. The badger cull is one of the worst wildlife abuses of modern times and we will continue to challenge the wrong decisions surrounding it.
We will continue to seek justice in the best interests of badgers, wildlife, farming and the tax-paying public. Thank you again for all your hard work and donations in support to-date. Together we are The Badger Crowd. Standing up for Badgers.