Gloucestershire and Somerset confirmed as badger cull trial areas

WEST Gloucestershire and West Somerset have been confirmed as the two areas for the 2013 badger cull trials.

After the breakdown of last year’s proposed cull in these two areas there was some concern among farmers that an another trial area could be found.

But Natural England has confirmed this week that all criteria have been met to allow control of badgers in these areas in the battle against bovine TB.

Each licence has a four-year term, authorising six-week control operations to be carried out between June 1 and January 31.

Licensees are authorised to reduce badger populations in the two pilot areas by at least 70 per cent and a maximum number of badgers has been specified to prevent the risk of local extinction.

The Government has selected Dorset as a reserve pilot area and Natural England said it will now work to process a licence application for this area.

Badger control will only be licensed in this area this year if control operations in West Gloucestershire or West Somerset cannot proceed.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Its not going to work in the long term only the very short term . I have badgers on my land and i will not be allowing any one on here to start shooting .

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  • The RSPCA, including director Gavin Grant at a recent public meeting, have confirmed to me that searching for, locating and dispatching sick super-excreter badgers with a close range head shot would not be successfully prosecuted. The crucial behavioural evidence from Maff, that the young healthy badgers drive out the old sick badgers, who carry TB endemically, from the sets and tribal territory towards farms and livestock, has not been allowed to enter scientific discussions or the current debate. In fact this vital practical information has been deliberately excluded from the scientific debate for more than twenty years, as has the fact that Maff established proof that in 90% of cases of TB in cattle, the source could be linked directly to the infected badger population. Badgers have been proven as far back as 1935 to carry TB endemically. Cattle to cattle transmission is the big lie promoted and presented to the uninformed public by the corrupt politicians and animal rights industry to raise funds fraudulently. Old super-excreter badgers pumping out vast quantites of baccili, seeking shelter, food and water, avoiding confrontation near farms, can be found by scent and dispatched all year round at little or no cost to the farming industry. This duty of care has worked well in the past. In addition, infected sets can now be clearly identified and gassed anaesthetically with a reasonable degree of humaneness, to allow a rapid end to this devastating disease cause primarily by bad politics, ignorance, protection policies, and over-population, to the detriment of most other species. At a time when vulnerable Upland and Farmland birds are declining to extinction, primarily because of uncontrolled predation, we who care, have to stand up to the idiots in charge. Especially those who want to shoot healthy badgers from a distance near sets and bait, over a short time span, at a cost of around £1000 for each badger.

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  • If West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is ready to go on 1st June, and they achieve the target 80% cull in a humane manner, surely we could be looking at rolling out the cull to Dorset and other places in August? Why waste time, we know what needs to be done, so lets get on with it and get it done.

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  • Blake Jake, typically, ignores the fact that the pilot culls have nothing to do with bovine TB control. They will merely test the potty theory that badgers can be humanely and safely shot at night by bounty hunters (sorry marksmen). They will do nothing to control bTB, except worsen it in the short term. As ever he ignores the real problem--cattle to- cattle disease spread, absence of biosecurity on farms, and a testing system which is only 80 per cent effective. It’s OK for finding disease in a herd, but it’s simply not sensitive enough to find ALL the disease. As for Edmund Marriage, where has he dreamed up this nonsense about MAFF proving that 90 per cent of cattle infection could be linked directly to badgers? Total codswallop. Not one iota of truth in that ludicrous claim, just as daft as his assertion that infected setts can now be identified. Cattle to cattle transmission is of course accepted not just by animal rights people, as he claims, but by Defra, the Government, independent scientists--everyone who has examined the causes of bovine TB. Think about it: bovine TB--perhaps there's a clue, there Mr Marriage.

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  • Anon 4;25

    "Think about it bovine TB-pehaps theres a clue"

    So do tell which came first TB in badgers or TB in cattle or other types of wild life ?
    Pehaps Bovine TB because this is where this disease has had most noticable effect on the human population?.

    Pehaps you can tell us which came first the chicken or the egg?.

    Lets get rid of this disease for the sake of wild life and domesticated stock.The methods adopted are those options left after all the "informed people" have put their oar in , this job has been done before ,has been done World wide and proven successful .

    LETS GET ON WITH IT!

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  • Anonymous | 28 February 2013 4:25 pm
    his assertion that infected setts can now be identified.

    Look up PCR and get yourself up to speed instead of spouting claptrap mantra.

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  • A self perpetuating reservoir of TB infection in badgers has long been recognised (Gallagher et al, 1976) in which the disease in the badger can progress to emaciation and death. The Zuckerman
    (1980), Dunnet (1986) and Krebs (1997) Reports, all came to the conclusion that the badger was a significant reservoir of infection. Professor Krebs sought trials to find the most suitable methods of controlling the badger population, despite the fact that these methods were tried and
    tested, and well known to senior MAFF staff and veterinary advisors.

    The following 17th January 1995 extract from Hansard speaks for itself - (Written Answers Column 447): Bovine Tuberculosis - Mr Heppell: to ask the minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has that the spread of bovine tuberculosis is caused by badgers - Mrs Browning: Experimental control areas in Dorset and Gloucestershire, set up in 1975, provided evidence of the causal link between infection in badgers, and cattle herds. After removal of the badgers, there were no further cattle TB herd breakdowns in these areas for many years. Two independent reports, by Lord Zuckerman in 1980 and Professor Dunnet in 1986, concluded from the evidence obtained
    under laboratory conditions at the Central Veterinary Laboratory and from the field that: - All cattle tuberculosis breakdowns are the subject of detailed epidemiological investigation by MAFF veterinary staff - These show that badgers are implicated in at least three-quarters of cattle herd
    tuberculosis breakdowns in south-west England.

    The TB99 (disease investigation report) completed by experienced Veterinary Officers for every outbreak and an analysis of these from 1986 to 1995 by the Epidemiology Unit, Weybridge found
    approximately 90% of new herd incidents were considered badger origin (MAFF.1995, Clifton-Hadley 1995).

    There is no indication of any real change in origins or that cattle infections were driving the epidemic during this period. Thus the apparently arbitrary assumption of origins in the ISG model are likely
    to have resulted in a serious distortion of the disease model.

    Extract from Bringing Down a Corrupt and Incompetent Government by British Wilslife Management - Evidence delibereately removed under the supervision of Elliott Morley - Maff and the Defra Minister - The ISG were not allowed to tell the truth - The bagder protectionist lobby led by the RSPCA bribed the Labour Party by contributing over £1.1 million and are still orchestrating further payments to Labour from Animal Right Industry sources.

    Come out into the open Annonymous
    and tell us who you are and who pays you.

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  • i believe the cull is the unfoseen consequences of the hunting act under blair and the near demise of the traditional 'estate game keeper or large farmer.

    also is the forest of dean effected currently

    many thanks , if read and understood.

    we have deep problems when dogooders start medling wih old rights and law there are many examples of the country giving way to the campaigners of weeping and wailing issues which have the effect of very great economic loss to the treasury and increase all our costs.

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