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Farmers told 'get organised' for ten more badger culls

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 08, 2013

  • Mr Cameron was eager to chat with the crowds yesterday in the sunshine

  • The Prime Minister is followed around the show by TV cameras

  • David Cameron chats with farmer Albert Cook at one of the sheep classes

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The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has insisted the Government has the "courage" to see through the controversial badger cull.

Owen Paterson, who joined the Prime Minister in a tour of the North Devon Show yesterday, refused to say when two pilot schemes in west Somerset and Gloucestershire would begin, claiming it was a matter for locals to decide.

He said he would not be able to "look the British taxpayer in the eye" if he ignored evidence from around the world supporting a cull among wildlife as part of plans to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle.

He used the visit to call on farmers in Devon and Cornwall to "get organised" ahead of the planned roll-out of ten fresh culls which will be launched next year provided the pilots are successful.

"If the people in Devon want to get organised then good on them," Mr Patterson told the Western Morning News. "There was also great enthusiasm down in Cornwall when I was down there recently.

"I am looking for people to organise on the ground for a further ten areas next year – up to now they have been asked to handle this disease with one hand tied behind their backs but we are going to stop that."

Asked about the growing frustration among farmers that the pilots had yet to begin, despite being licensed in June, he added: "We have got a very clear timetable, they are on course and it is down to local people to organise them and when they start.

"I have been to numerous agricultural shows in recent weeks and I would stress the tremendous support and thanks I have from farmers.

"They are glad that, at last, a government has been brave enough to take on the difficult problem of addressing the disease in wildlife.

"If we don't do this we will crash our cattle industry and face a bill of £1billion – how can I look the British taxpayer in the eye and say we are ignoring evidence from America, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland?"

Mr Paterson toured the showground, at Umberleigh, before chatting with farmers and officials from the National Farmers Union.

In a relatively lengthy chat with journalists in the members' pavilion, he portrayed the Prime Minister and himself as big supporters of the countryside, based on their experience in rural seats, in Oxfordshire and Shropshire.

"I am really aware just how very difficult last year was," he continued. "It is my job to rural-proof all the ministries but it takes time to turn the ship around."

He outlined a series of objectives he had set, chief among them the roll-out of superfast broadband, a project which is on target in Cornwall but falling behind in Devon and Somerset, with the target date recently slipping a year.

"Broadband is absolutely monster and I cannot think of any other thing that we can do that can help people more," he added.

"We are hard at it but it is a hugely difficult project."

Show secretary Pat Sennett said the prime ministerial visit had provided show-goers with an unexpected treat.

She could not recall a political visit in all the years she had been organising the event.

"They enjoyed the show and seemed to really like the setting," she added. "They were made to feel very welcome."

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4 comments

  • fugasiyokonda  |  August 11 2013, 11:46AM

    I agree with you but personally i think they are better to wipe out every badger in the uk and only then will the idiot farmers and idiot politicians all motovated by money realise just how pathetic their mentality is. I really dont think you will change these idiots mentality until they realise their great ' lets protect meat sales ' scheme fails and it will. Culling badgers will make things worse and until the kill the lot they wont be happy and by that point they will realise just what they have destroyed in the name of Money.( its not about Bovine tb , its about Money.........You cant sell Vacinated beef......... ? did anyone consider the cows are giving the badgers Tb ? thats why its called Bovine tb. Most of our idiot nation seem to think its the other way around . My prediction is they will eventually destroy the badger and then ? then the BOVINE disease will spread more or some other disease as a result . The problem isnt Bovine tb , its the use of animals to make money , the keeping of them for profit and the way they live in their own ***** etc .Thats whats Causes Bovine tb as far as i am concerned as Disease is DIS eASE - unhappyness . Do people Really believe that rearing animals to just Kill for meat is ethical ? that it doesnt have a Moral consequence ? that these animals are Really happy with a life like that ? and the cows odviously are not happy as they are Dis eased...., they then pass on Their disease to Badgers and who gets the blame ? the animal that isnt worth any money in the food chain;) Like i said , i would just let the morons kill the badgers , its self evident humanity will destroy itself eventually and the world will then revert back and the whole silly cycle will maybe happen again , i dont think there is Any hope for the natural world and animals. Humanity is dISEASE unless it Co exists and the majority ? they are backward dumb sleeping idiots who work and die and act like good little citizens in servitude to a higher order who feed of them and live like kinds. Wakey wakey.

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  • JuliaMichell  |  August 11 2013, 9:22AM

    Farmers are still gassing badgers and shooting foxes and hunts are still hunting, its despicable

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  • JuliaMichell  |  August 11 2013, 9:21AM

    Weasel words

    |   -3
  • missmustoe  |  August 10 2013, 5:57PM

    How can you look the tax payers in the face, who don't want this cull. How will you look the Badgers in the face, why of course with the end of a gun. Shoot the badgers with vaccine, not bullets. I won't be holidaying in Cornwell anymore, as I have done for years. Someone is going to get hurt over this unscientific Badger cull. I trust objective science who say, this cull is ridiculous, read the science, its out there. I trust them more than angry farmers, and a political party after votes, most in this party pro hunting and looking for entertainment, they never forgave the public for voting out fox hunting, which they still do illegally. This government is more like a police state than a democracy. LEAVE THE BADGERS ALONE!

    |   -4

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