The Badger Trust today ridiculed Prof David King, Chief Scientific
Adviser to the government for recommending badger culling to
control bovine TB in cattle. The recommendation comes without
any consideration of the cost involved which makes a mockery
the entire policy.
The Badger Trust is also shocked that this review was conducted
in secret and involved advice from the Republic of Ireland where
30 years of badger culling have left Eire with twice the level
of bTB in the national herd compared to that found in Great Britain.
Trevor Lawson public affairs advisor to Badger Trust commented: "
King's list of recommendations repeat virtually word for word the
opinions of farming unions and the cull mad vets in Defra. This
is a highly-politicised rush to judgment, which, ludicrously, contains
no cost benefit analysis.
"Prof King says his aim is to control
bTB in cattle but he ignores the fact that this can be achieved
by improving the cattle testing regime. The science shows that
cattle are the primary source of infection for both each other
and for badgers but this is of no interest to Prof King. His shallow
report amounts to a shamelessly one sided examination of the problem."
The Badger Trust points
out that Prof King's advice contradicts:
- the advice of Prof Sir
John Krebs who recently told Lord Rooker, Animal Health Minister,
that there was "no wriggle room on
bovine TB policy and that badger culling was not viable;
- the advice
of Defra Science Advisory Council who for two years have accepted
the scientific research first published in 2005 and concluded that
badger culling should not be considered until all possible cattle
measures had been implemented successfully and in full. The
Independent Scientific Group advises that TB can be rapidly reversed
and brought under control by improving the cattle testing regime
which currently misses around 1in 3 infected cattle leaving them
to infect other cattle in the herd.
Welcomes Chief Scientistís Support for Badger Cull
RABDF/Defra Farm Health Planning Award 2007
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