Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Badger Cull Order

There are just over 13,000 cattle herds in Wales of which 1,700 herds are under restriction as a result of a TB incident, this costs the Welsh economy millions of pounds in compensation as well as lost labour hours. The Minister for Agriculture has introduced bold new policies to try to eradicate bovine TB in Wales. The best known and most controversial of these is the badger cull in what are termed Intensive Action Areas (IAA), this will see up to 1,000 badgers in these areas in the west of the country culled. Badgers are highly susceptible to TB infection and female badgers continue to lactate despite having the disease which inevitably lead to badgers being a major factor in the spread of the disease to cattle, Dr Christianne Glossop Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales said;
“Evidence from a number of studies, including the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT) in England, shows that culling badgers can substantially reduce TB in cattle.
“The recent judicial review of the Welsh TB Eradication Order was comprehensively dismissed by the Judge. Importantly, the judge accepted that culling of badgers can substantially reduce bovine TB in cattle.
“The judge also dismissed the complaint that the Minister for Rural Affairs should have taken into account the Jenkins 2010 et al when she made her final decision about the Intensive Action Pilot Area.
“We are taking a new approach to eradicating the disease in the IAPA, combining cattle controls and biosecurity advice alongside a proactive cull of badgers. It is not a replication of the RBCT.
“It is an approach similar to that which is being successfully implemented in New Zealand which is now close to eradicating bovine TB.
“Bovine TB is a serious animal disease and over the last ten years, the Welsh Assembly Government has spent over £100m in trying to control it, yet it has continued to escalate.
“We are dealing with a bovine TB crisis that is threatening cattle farming across Wales. It cannot be ignored and needs to be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible."

There are of course other factors that cause incidence of bovine TB which is why the cull is part of a package of measures to be welcomed by all who are interested in the well being of Welsh agriculture. These measures include improved surveillance and cattle disease controls, linking compensation to good practice, enforcing the testing regime, and establishing a regional approach to the disease.


  1. Vast majority of consultation documents were agaisnt the cull of badgers and the minister Elin Jones will pay the penalty of not listeningto the people of Wales by losing her ceredigion seat.

  2. There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that a cull would be successful in cutting incidence of Bovine TB, if you are not happy with the word of the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales then there are other independent sources. This is a fairly extensive list of research articles on TB in animals;

  3. the veterinary officer of Wales is not one to be trusted on the issue and their is international documents on Btb which support the assertions that it is a man made disease.

  4. I don't understand why the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales is not to be trusted on this issue. The Department have conducted in depth research that has led qualified experts to conclude that the above course of action is the best one in the fight against the spread of bovine TB. This course is also supported by the farming unions, as well as scientific evidence from DEFRA, The Irish Department of Agriculture and various academic endeavours some of which are listed in the link above.

  5. You have got to understand that in the UK their is politicla manouevuring going on with scientific analysis and reports.

    I can pick a little bit of slurry (teaspoon) and prepare it on a slide and show you the bacterium under an antiquated microscope. Absolutely nonsensical claptrap that animals pass to one another.
    Both badger and cow ingest the bacteria whilst ground feeding. The CVO knows this.

  6. "Vast majority of consultation documents were agaisnt the cull of badgers and the minister Elin Jones will pay the penalty of not listeningto the people of Wales by losing her ceredigion seat"

    I live in this area. Brought up on N Pembs and now living in Ceredigon and I don't see any great anti- Elyn Jones feeling. . Quite the opposite in fact. And also....there was me thinking that the Assembly government had voted to support the recommendations of the Chief Veterinary Officer of Wales. Democracy at work innit. But if I had to really hazard a guess.....I think that there are some stirrers who are eyeing a prize which isn't your stated aim of stopping the cull. You allude to it fact, quite openly.

  7. anon 20:24

    My aim is not stop the cull by not any other by than legal means.

    You may not see it in your hearsay and experiences down one street but 83% of all consultation documents (13,000 or so) were anti-cull.
    being anti-cull will be a vote loser and I expect Terry Mills of labour to take preseli pembs.

  8. We had a cull in England during the 70s and 80s, thousand's upon thousands of badgers gassed and shot.
    This did no good, why do you suppose it will be any different now.
    Badger culling is not recommended by the scientists, so why do politicians assume they know better?
    When we eradicated |Brucellosis from the national herd in the 70s and 80s, we backed up the slaughter policy with a vaccine, and now you rarely hear of the disease.
    Why aren't concentrating our time and money on a vaccine for bTB, the farmers were promised one as far back as 1940!!! about time we had it I think.
    It is also a fact that 17% of all new cases of the disease are found in the abattoir, when the cattle are slaughtered, those cows having ample time to infect other members of the herd.
    The TB test itself is only 8o% accurate, and until you address these problems it would be obscene to continue with the idea of culling the wildlife.
    Where would you stop, once the badger is gone, do you then get the deer, and the foxes, voles, rats, bats, to name but a few infected by the disease, and please don't tell me they got it from the badger.
    This is a BOVINE disease, and unless we deal with it in the cow first,we won't win.
    Australia did it without killing wildlife.
    Badgers have been here longer than us, are we to be the generation that finally wipes them out?
    The call is to kill 70% of the badgers in hot spot areas, how do you know that the badgers you leave behind are not the sick ones.
    Time for a re-think.

  9. @janice curtis

    it is a disease of microbiology and man made ignorance and wrong decision making