Earlier this year, the British government announced that it was phasing out the pointless badger cull it had championed for the past five years. This after expert after expert revealed that killing badgers will not prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis among cattle. The government lied. Instead of stopping the badger cull, it increased the scope and number of badger culling areas.
65,000 English badgers will be trapped, shot, maimed… and mercilessly killed before Christmas!
This is not fake news. Dr Iain McGill of the Progressive Veterinary Association, a group of vets campaigning against badger culling, says over 100,000 badgers have been killed so far, with 35,000 killed in 2019 alone. Right now the government plans to drive up the death toll, targeting another 65,000 badgers before Christmas.
What is even more chilling is that a study commissioned by the government shows that hardly any badger carcasses analysed in two key areas in the north and south of England had infectious bovine TB. This means that killing badgers there was cruel and ineffective.
This is simply outrageous. Dr Iain McGill is adamant that there is not a shred of evidence to support the claim that badgers are driving the epidemic in cattle. Cows mostly catch TB from other cows.
What is of deep concern is that the government, instead of admitting the truth, sat on the studies for two years.
Astonishing! The British Veterinary Association (BVA) supports the pointless slaughter!
As the top body of British vets, the BVA has the ear of the government and regularly meets with top officials. In this position of power, the BVA has a clear duty to take into consideration ethical concerns and apply the best science to its policies. Unbelievably, the BVA ignores the science and while admitting that the main method used to kill badgers – which is for men to stalk the country at night armed with rifles and shoot badgers on sight – causes suffering, but still supports the policy, merely suggesting that badgers should be trapped before being shot.
And the final part of this horror story is that the overwhelming majority of these murdered badgers are perfectly healthy, bTB free, and pose no risk to anyone or anything.
That’s right, essentially badgers are being killed for no reason at all.
It is far more likely that cows will catch bTB from another cow than from a badger. Only around six percent of cattle infections might originate from badgers.
If proof is needed, here it is: Bovine tuberculosis rates in one of the pilot badger cull zones in Gloucestershire shot up 130% between 2017 and 2018. That means that after five years of culling badgers, a higher percentage of cattle herds had bTB than before culling started!
It is unconscionable that across England, badgers are wounded, dying, or dead because lies or suspicions are being put before facts.
Most vets are compassionate human beings which makes it even more extraordinary that their professional body should support the pointless slaughter of 65,000 badgers in the next two months.
The UK government is using badger killing as a smokescreen to hide the real problem which is an ongoing epidemic of bTB among cows caused by an outdated skin test from a century ago. The government’s own data show that the routine skin test that vets use fails to pick up around 50% of infected cows, leaving them in the herd to cause further infections. Movement controls for cattle use the same test, ensuring that infected cattle continue to spread bTB to new areas of the country.
Yes, you heard that correctly –
HALF of all infected cattle are missed by the test!
Can you imagine if the government tried to control COVID-19 by using a test that had as much chance of being wrong as right? There would be outrage! Currently, the UK government wastes £100-million ($130-million) of taxpayers’ money a year on this policy which achieves only pain and death.
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