There is no logic in the anti-culling position that has been taken
by the pro-badger lobby in the debate on how to control unrelenting
TB spread over increasingly widespread areas of the UK.
So says the National Beef Association which is alarmed at the
flimsy, and ultra- selective, case against culling badgers that
has been put forward to challenge the compelling, but less sensational,
arguments that back organised culling on a scale necessary to control
and then reduce the spread of the disease.
“We do not understand the anti-cull stance taken by organisations
, including the RSPCA, which claim to have the welfare of animals
at heart but are ready to expose even more badgers and cattle to
the distress of TB infection because they will not approve the
removal of badgers, along with infected cattle, in areas where
TB is endemic,” explained NBA chief executive, Robert Forster.
“We are familiar with post-mortem evidence that confirms
badgers with TB can lose more than half their normal bodyweight
before they expire and also with further proof of their severe
debilitation and stress following the reduction of all body fat
surrounding their diseased lungs and kidneys.”
“There can be no doubt that badgers in TB hot spot areas
suffer horribly from the disease but although the culling of badgers
in these regions would prevent further spread into entirely new
localities, and then even more badgers going down with the disease,
the organisations that are expected to promote the well being of
these creatures actively seek to prevent the introduction of controls
that would protect the species they claim to guard.”
According to the NBA the plight of the 30,000 cattle slaughtered
out each year as TB reactors is resolutely ignored too - even
though the lives of most of these animals was suddenly brought
to a premature, and avoidable, end.
“Most of the anti-badger cull campaigners claim that the
TB is spread exclusively by cattle but these are arguments based
on blind denial. The National Beef Association accepts there is
some cattle to cattle spread but everyone capable of objective
thinking, including government scientists, is certain badgers are
the biggest single contributor,” said Mr Forster.
“It is worth noting that a post-mortem examination of the
lungs is compulsory when cattle move through an abattoir. Last
year 3.23 million pairs of lungs were examined but only 288 showed
signs of TB.
“This is only 0.009 per cent of this massive sample and
if cattle were spreading TB amongst each other in a significant
way we are certain the figure would be much higher.”
“The contradictory position taken by the anti-badger cull
groups cannot be ignored. TB is currently endemic within most of
the badger population present in the hot spots that cover around
15 per cent of England 's land area and it is spreading outwards
at a regular compound rate of 18 per cent a year.”
“If it is not checked almost twice as many badgers, not
to mention cattle, will be exposed to TB in four years time. Only
a resolute cull of badgers in existing TB areas can prevent this
spread which will eventually be a risk to every badger in Britain
if the disease is not halted,” Mr Forster added.
Guilty Of Half Measures On TB
Lacks Leadership On Bovine TB
measures too little, too late