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Stackyard News May 06

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Miliband invited to meet the badgers

David Miliband, the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has been invited to go badger watching by the Badger Trust. This is the ideal time of year to go badger watching: cubs are starting to appear above ground for the first time and badgers spend a lot of time around the sett before going off to forage.

photo courtesy of The Badger Trust


David Williams, Badger Trust chairman, explained: "We welcome the appointment of David Miliband and hope that he can inject some clear and rational thinking into Defra. He inherits a department whose vets struggle to understand scientific advice and this poses a real challenge to Ministers who have promised to base policy decisions on sound science.

"Mr Miliband has already declared that he is keen to 'get out into rural England to hear from farmers' [1], but we hope that he recognises the importance of hearing from conservation and countryside groups who represent the wider public, too. The Badger Trust is a member of Wildlife and Countryside Link, an alliance of organisations whose combined membership exceeds eight million people.

"I have therefore written to Mr Miliband today, inviting him to come badger watching so that he can discover for himself why more than 47,000 people have responded to his Department's consultation on killing badgers. Sadly, every Government appointee to MAFF and Defra has declined our invitation to go badger watching, including Ben Bradshaw in whose hands the fate of Britain's badgers now rests. We hope that Mr Miliband will prove to be more in tune with the wider rural community and not fall into the familiar trap of thinking that wealthy farming lobby groups are the only voice in the countryside."

link More top scientists reject badger culling to control bovine TB
link Tony Blair plays down public response to badger killing
link Badger Trust welcomes pre-movement testing, but more must be done

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