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Call for vote on badger culling

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

Comments (11)

Ministers are facing calls to let MPs vote on halting the expansion of controversial badger culling in the South West.

The Government will in February decide whether to sanction up to 40 badger culls in its most prominent attempt to curb bovine TB ravaging herds in the region.

But two "pilot" culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire have drawn criticism for failing to meet their targets.

While Labour has led the resistance, now some Conservatives want the first binding Commons vote on whether the policy should continue.

During a Westminster Hall debate in the Commons yesterday, Anne Main, Conservative MP for St Albans in Hertfordshire, said: "Bring it back before the House. The public will not understand concerns from people like myself who have moved from neutral to negative."

Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour's Shadow Farming Minister, said any further culls should "test the democratic legitimacy".

The disease led to the slaughter of 28,000 cattle last year.

Simon Hart, Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said farmers have "been through hell", and that they were "the celebrities we should be listening" to rather than Queen guitarist Brian May.

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  • stormkettle  |  December 18 2013, 10:58AM

    Intentionally killing Tb-free badgers was always going to bring justifying karma onto perpetrators and supporters of such repulsive behaviour

    Rate   1
  • mmjames  |  December 13 2013, 2:53PM

    simonrtucker Friday, December 13 2013, 11:41AM ............. Your questions have been answered many times on these comments threads - go read posts by CharlesHenry in particular.

    Rate   -2
  • simonrtucker  |  December 13 2013, 11:49AM

    Free2opione: look at the poll in this paper: 60% of the people that voted were against. Given the usual knee-jerk rubbishing of any anti-cull post and the constant approving of your bloodthirsty viewpoint and the down-rating of the anti-cull posts surely even you can see that the majority do not buy your cherry-picked statistics and misrepresentation of scientific opinion? Outside of the cull zones virtually every opinion poll on the matter has shown a majority of over 70% against the cull - and all show a majority against the cull. This is supposedly a democracy - but the Tories and Lib Dems clearly don't believe in that concept having enacted more indignities on the British people in the last 3.5 years that were not in, or were specifically excluded as policies in, their manifestos. This cull is an outrage and an affront to the vast majority of people in this country

    Rate   -9
  • simonrtucker  |  December 13 2013, 11:41AM

    The usual pro-cull rubbishing of anybody with an opposing point of view. The usual pretence that there is a scientific rationale to the cull when every single scientist involved in the Krebs trial, including Krebs himself, oppose it; when every scientist in Natural England opposes the extension to the cull. There a couple of inconvenient issues the pro-cullers cannot overcome so they quote out of date statistics (pre-Krebs). Instead of being rude answer these questions: 1. What is the extent of BTB in badgers? Nobody knows because the opportunity to find out (the pilot culls) was not taken, the carcasses being burnt. 2, TB is predominantly transmitted through aerial routes in crowded situations. Why do you think badgers are responsible for that spread? They should not be in close proximity to cattle when penned close if the farmer is doing his job properly. 3. Badger latrines are supposedly a source of infection. Only super-excretors pass the bacilli out in their urine. It is not known how many badgers have BTB but let's assume it is 25%. Out of every 1,000 badgers 250 have TB. Super-excretors make up less than 2% of the human TB population so, for the absence of data, assume the same for badgers that means that 5 in every 1,000 badgers can spread TB in that way. Given the size of a badger's range just how unlucky does a cow have to be to contract TB in this way? 4. Do you understand the meaning of a "pilot"? You are assuming that the results of the pilot will support your viewpoint. That, more than anything else, shows just how your views are fuelled by dogma not an open minded approach to a serious problem. 5. If over 9 years this is going to reduce the prevalence by 12 to 16% (DEFRA's contention) why aren't you interested in dealing with the 84 to 88% from other causes? This would have the largest impact on reducing BTB. 6. Why are you opposed to vaccination of badgers and cattle? Just try answering the questions instead of the usual knee-jerk slagging off.

    Rate   -7
  • Jake_Blake  |  December 12 2013, 10:00PM

    Once again another debate and another waste of time. Every-time an anti-culler is corrected with facts, another one stands up to repeat the same made up gibberish. If this was on any other issue said politician would be publicly embarrassed, but as ever the anti-cull campaign knows no shame.

    Rate 0
  • Clued-Up  |  December 12 2013, 9:19PM

    I think Owen Paterson's repeated absences from parliamentary debates most of us would expect him to attend has more significance than you suggest, Free2opine.

    Rate   -4
  • Free2opine  |  December 12 2013, 12:29PM

    "Clueless, your comment is false re the badger cull debate as Owen Paterson may well have been busy with other work. Badgers, surprisingly enough, are NOT his only problem, therefore, your comment , whilst not libel is rather pathetic. GE may be new to this particular job but he at least has a farming background, therefore he may not be quite so hapless as you make him out to be. He has always supported badger culling and will be a great help in getting the problem of bTB sorted out."

    Rate   2
  • Free2opine  |  December 12 2013, 11:18AM

    @missmustoe " And the people who make up this country and vote. The majority against the Badger cull." Proof please, that the majority of over 60 million people would vote, and how YOU, in your wisdom, predict they would vote!!!!!

    Rate   3
  • Clued-Up  |  December 12 2013, 10:31AM

    I've been watching parliamentary TV's coverage of yesterday's badger cull debate. MPs are obviously as peeved and shocked as the rest of us by DEFRA ministers' behaviour. Owen Paterson didn't turn up (surprise, surprise), leaving his hapless junior (George Eustice) to field questions. He looked rather forlorn and uncomfortable. He didn't try to answer any of the questions he was asked. About three-quarters of the MPs who spoke felt the cull had been an unmitigated disaster and wanted it stopped. Two of the MPs present at the debate who were originally pro-cull said they could no longer support the cull. Many MPs wanted the project totally reappraised and for the badger cull issue to come back for a full parliamentary debate.

    Rate   -1
  • Free2opine  |  December 12 2013, 10:11AM

    This is hardly "NEWS", just the media trying to get revenue in, through easy pickings. They know that the rabid anti-cull ravings will continue on a daily basis reports. hence these naff reports. It doesn't take any "in depth investigations" by any "real reporters". God forbid that any REAL NEWS is taking place anywhere in this country, affecting HUMANS, because this media site, seems unable to report on it, without stealing reports from the mainstream media. Re. the above report,............a vote has always been on the agenda, early next year. This is NOT news.

    Rate   2