The Badger Trust today expressed disappointment at the "cynical
threats" of the National Beef Association (NBA).
The NBA's chairman, Duff Burrell, yesterday claimed that the Government
risks 'losing essential farmer cooperation for further adoption
of its Animal Health and Welfare Strategy', unless it culls badgers
Mr Burrell also claims that it is 'virtually inevitable' that
TB will cost tax payers 'at least £2 billion' over the next
ten years and that the disease could 'swamp' unaffected parts of
Britain, if a 'large scale badger cull' is not implemented.
Trevor Lawson, Badger Trust spokesman, said: "This is a disappointing
and deeply cynical threat. Is Mr Burrell really suggesting that
his members will deny their animals the best standards of health
and welfare in order to make a political point? Tax payers, who
subsidise his industry, will be appalled. Threats like these will
not win farmers any support.
"The NBA has to show some maturity over the TB issue. Badger
culling is simply not feasible as a means to control TB. Rather
than arguing about badgers, farmers should be forming alliances
with us and other concerned organisations to put pressure on Defra
to fully fund a comprehensive testing regime to control TB.
"More frequent skin testing, the introduction of post-movement
testing and the widespread use of the gamma interferon TB test
will put a stranglehold on TB. But as long as farmers pick fights
over badgers, the Government can avoid paying for better testing.
Farmers are doing themselves untold harm with this muddled thinking.
They have backed themselves into a corner over the badger issue
and Defra is content to abandon them there."
Defra cannot let farmers down over badger cull, says NBA
in confusion" over bovine TB
badger culling demand "laughable" say conservationists
we beat bovine TB before: Badger