Saturday, 13 August 2011

links to stuff

vaccine reduces spread & severity of disease even in sick animals
gloucester vaccine [reserach vet, spread of animal disease]

useful links from WAG on bTB reduction measures
page 13 for all wales testing regime

Thursday, 11 August 2011

one of the arguments

One of the arguments for a badger cull, that really annoys me, is the one about the emotional trauma to farmers about losing their cattle...and seeing them slaughtered on the farm. First: why are they being slaughtered on the farm, this is not normal - is it only cows in calf? I ask that as that is sometimes mentioned. I would imagine that most of the cattle go to the slaughter house. I was more distressed about our animals having to go off the land and not be slaughtered on the farm, especially as the lorry that arrived was enormous and not gated - this being illegal. We did mention this to animal health but they did nothing. We really should have followed it up but as we were in the limbo land of a family death at home after a long illness and the funeral, none of was in any fit state to deal with anything properly.

Many many more cattle get slaughtered prematurely due to lameness, mastistis, low milk yield and barreness. Infact these figues make bTB look insignificant. And some breeds of milking cow don't make it past about 3 calves - I was told that by a cattle judge. Also of course cattle are killed somewhat early in their life for meat.

Yes when you have been breeding your own herd and you lose a prize cow, you have lost all her future calves and her milk yeild. No compensation will cover that financial lose, or the loss to breeding - or the work and effort you have put into that animal. I have seen this happen on small farms in my area. And yes they have nurtured those animals and intended a lot longer life for them

So I guess that the farmers who are emotionally upset about the premature deaths of their cows can understand the distress that people who watch/study/protect badgers will feel if badgers are shot, especially when at least 70% - I've decided to be conservative - of those badgers will be healthy.

It is not an argument for badger deaths but for a long term strategy to be set up to tackle bTB, bsdger culling is not long term

Sunday, 7 August 2011

failure of reactive culling

Rethink bTB

from Rethink bTB website

Rethink Bovine TB (bTB) is an independent research group funded by people with an interest in examining public policy as it affects agriculture, animal diseases, animal welfare and the financial viability of farming.

Rethink Bovine TB gratefully acknowledges original research and evidence offered by academic and industry experts and information and data provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

We hope that this report will serve to stimulate discussion and bring the Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) policy, essentially unchanged for many decades, rapidly into the twenty first century. We look forward to and welcome comments and criticism from all who read it.

Rethink Bovine TB would like to thank the many people who have provided information or contributed comments and suggestions, which have been used in the second edition.

In this, the second edition of our document, we discuss the Bovine TB policy in England and Wales, and propose radical but practical and cost effective solutions. We will draw our evidence from a variety of sources, but in particular Defra (the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and.

We will avoid complex statistical manipulation, as the same data and numerical evidence is being used to prove opposing views. We will instead concentrate on simple clear facts, and demonstrable cause and effect.

Download from here

Saturday, 6 August 2011

latest from badger trust

Subject: Google news alert - 30th July – 5th August 2011

Please note that some of these Alerts offer the opportunity for comments to be added to the discussion boards and it is hoped that recipients of this e-mail will add their views. It is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of widely read free publicity and explain the anti-cull arguments to the general public.

Thursday 4th August

Thousands petition against badger cull
Thousands of people have signed up to a campaign calling on the government to rethink its plans for a badger cull to combat cattle tuberculosis. As Farmers Weekly went to press, an online petition by campaign group 38 Degrees was set to pass 20000 ...

Wednesday 3rd August

‘FARMERS are being urged to help in the fight against the spread of bovine TB in Cumbria by reporting on the whereabouts of badger setts.’

Think again on badgers
Wirral News
ŠI continue to support a science-led approach to dealing with bovine TB which shows that vaccination offers the best hope of effectively tackling BTB in the long term. Last year the Government halted five of the six vaccine pilots that were ...

Tuesday 2nd August

Plan for badger cull is slammed as 'sickening'
Eastbourne Today
A WILDLIFE rescuer has described the government's decision to allow badgers to be culled as 'sickening'. The RSPCA is also devastated that, following years of contentious debate, the government has told Sussex farmer they can hire marksmen to shoot the ...

Badgers dragged from setts forced into dog fighting
Teesdale Mercury
BADGERS are being ripped from setts in Teesdale and shipped to other parts of the UK where they are forced to fight with dogs, according to a local wildlife trust. Graham Temby, from the County Durham Badger Trust, said gangs travel to Teesdale and ...,3503.html

Communication needed if Animal Health is to keep TB out of Cumbria
Farming UK
'Regular communication between Animal Health, vets and farmers is vital if the agricultural industry is to stop bovine TB from becoming established in Cumbria,' says the NFU's North West Dairy Board Chairman. Russell Bowman, of Castlerigg Farm in ...

Monday 1st August 2011

38 Degrees campaigners join fight against bovine TB badger cull
Ministers say shooting the animals will stop bovine TB, which is causing 25000 cattle a year to be slaughtered. But 13000 people have signed a petition by lobby group 38 Degrees to consider more effective options, after official advisers said a mass ...
See all stories on this topic »

Farmers urged to report badger setts in fight against bovine TB
Westmorland Gazette
FARMERS are being urged to help in the fight against the spread of bovine TB in Cumbria by reporting on the whereabouts of badger setts. The call was made by veterinary officer Tanis Brough as she addressed a public meeting at Stoneybeck Inn, Penrith, ...
See all stories on this topic »

Badgers discovered on proposed 1200-home site
Cambridge News
Badgers have been discovered on land where a controversial 1200 home development is planned, an inquiry heard. The presence of the animals at Hatchfield Farm could prolong the planning inquiry into the proposed development and delay work on the site, ...
See all stories on this topic »

Badger protesters mobilise for battle
The Independent
By Lewis Smith The fight to stop thousands of badgers being culled has been joined by the campaign group which played a key role in forcing the Government to drop plans to sell off forests. The involvement of 38 Degrees heaps more pressure on the ...
See all stories on this topic »

Sunday 31st July

Campaigners aim to stop badger cull
The Independent
By David Wilcock A campaign group which helped force the Government into an embarrassing u-turn over plans to sell off forests has set its sights on stopping a planned cull of badgers. The Government announced earlier this month that it would press ...
See all stories on this topic »

By Stuart Winter, Environment Editor FARMER Dick Roper has vowed not to shoot badgers on his land but to feed them a daily dose of health supplements to prevent the spread of a deadly disease hitting dairy herds. Badgers are due to be shot in a cull ...
See all stories on this topic »

Saturday 30th July

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable development on fact ...
Farming UK
... demonstrates a link between the disease in badgers and cattle. ... we will never win this battle alone and it requires Welsh Government to deal also ...

Forest campaigners launch mission to stop badger cull
This is Somerset
The pressure group that forced the Government into a U-turn on the sell-off of forests has launched a campaign to halt the proposed cull of badgers. But a West Country MP last night labelled 38 Degrees as an “urban pressure group that does not ...
See all stories on this topic »

Giving badgers the bullet is 'a very bold course, minister'
Financial Times
Such was the widespread expectation last week, after Caroline Spelman, environment minister, announced she was “strongly minded” to authorise a nationwide badger cull. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that badgers are carriers of bovine ...
See all stories on this topic »,Authorised=false.html?

latest info from PAC

BBC Report Illegal Badger Killing on Farms
Welsh Review Panel Named
Latest TB Statistics
38 Degrees Campaign Update - please keep spreading the word

BBC Report Illegal Badger Killing on Farms
A Radio 4 programme yesterday on bovine tb and badgers - The Report - said they had 'found some farmers are taking draconian action, killing badgers illegally'. A shocking interview with a Devon farmer, who they said they have agreed not to name, in the vicinity of an inactive badger sett began with the reporter stating "It's one of dozens of setts where he says the animals have been killed." The farmer described the killing technique - "You have an old petrol engine. You put a pipe down the hole there. You have the engine running. Once all the holes are completely blocked up, you run the engine and that puts the badger to sleep underground....." and more. The farmer said he was present when it was done but "I actually didn't take part in it". His claims that this was supposedly a 'sick sett', that 'the whole family group is put to sleep humanely' and that farmers are being driven to take this action through lack of action and lack of help from governments -cannot excuse such illegal activity. And this nasty disclosure followed a clear summary of why localised killing of badgers in response to TB outbreaks - reactive culling - is, in the words of Professor Bourne, ' a no no' which makes TB worse. PAC is not anti farmer - many are working hard for effective solutions to controlling bovine TB - some as part of PAC. But farmers like this are their own worst enemies.
Please listen to the programme yourself.
You can tell the BBC what you think about airing details of what is clearly illegal activity, giving the farmer involved so much time to 'justify' this illegal activity, and allowing anonymity.

Welsh Review Panel Named
The panel of experts that will undertake Wales’ review of the scientific evidence base regarding the eradication of bovine TB has now been named. Wales’ Chief Scientific Adviser Professor John Harries and the recently appointed Chair of the panel, Professor Christopher Gaskell, have announced the panel will be:

Professor Sir Mansel Aylward CB, the Chair of Public Health Wales and Director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University
Professor Malcolm Bennett FRCPath FHEA, Co-Director of the UK National Centre for Zoonosis Research and Professor of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Liverpool
Professor Bridget Emmett, Deputy Director of the Biogeochemistry Programme, Section Head and Head of Site at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in Bangor
Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS, a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and Hope Professor at the Department of Zoology of the University of Oxford
Professor Dirk Pfeiffer is a Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology, and Head of the Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health Group in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the Royal Veterinary College (University of London).

Professor Gaskell is Principal of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. Some people have voiced misgivings to PAC about his independence. He is a member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales - and was one of the panel of experts convened by Defra whose 'key conclusions' on the science re bovine tb were published shortly before Caroline Spelman announced plans to trial free shooting of badgers. The 'key conclusions' are claimed by some to provide a case for culling badgers, but others, notably Lord Krebs (himself a member of the panel), say they do not support culling as a way forward. Speaking about the newly named panel, Professor Gaskell said: “I am very pleased with the make up of the panel. It brings together a range of experience and perspectives which will allow us to make a full and proper assessment of the evidence base that informed the programme for the eradication of bovine TB. I very much look forward to working with the panel in taking forward this important work on what is undoubtedly a difficult area.The panel will invite and take evidence from experts in the area as appropriate. Their report is expected to be completed by the autumn.”

Latest TB Statistics
Defra have published statistics for the period January to the end of April 2011. They show the number of cattle slaughtered in Wales due to TB is continuing to decline. Figures for West Wales now show a reduction of 54% over the same period in 2009, with a 12% reduction compared to the same period in 2010. The number of new herd TB incidents is also lower. West Wales had 40% fewer new herd incidents compared with the same period in 2009, and 5% fewer compared with the same period in 2010. PAC has been told that Defra are looking very closely at the encouraging data from Wales. Good to hear.

38 Degrees Campaign Against Badger Culling - Update
The 38 Degrees campaign petition has now got more than 20,000 people signed up - but even more mass momentum is needed. Please do everything you can to get the message out and ask others to sign up. There have been ongoing difficulties with campaign links not working sometimes and the campaign disappearing off the 38 Degrees home page.
Here is the link to the petition again.
Take a look at what is being said
- and leave your own comments.

Email PAC at: - telephone: 01239 805020
Take a look at the PAC BLOG and PAC Website. Donate to help save welsh badgers.