Kent Green Party strongly opposes the badger cull on the basis of the scientific evidence and significant animal-welfare, public-safety and ethical concerns. The scientific evidence is clear: the Randomised Badger-Culling Trial (RBCT), a large-scale trial of culling, concluded that 'badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the future control of cattle TB.' It also concluded that other approaches to culling would at best give only slightly better results and at worst have a detrimental effect.
Caroline Allen, veterinary surgeon and national Green Party Spokesperson
on animal issues, said:
"I completely understand the distress this issue causes to farmers and
that TB is a serious disease of cattle. However the feeling of
frustration and wanting to 'do something' must not mean we disregard the
facts and ethical considerations. The current plan is a dangerous one."
It is very unfortunate that the Government has chosen to reduce the
funding of badger-vaccination trials.
Whilst the Government has pledged that it will take measures to ensure the
cull is carried out humanely and with high regard to animal welfare, the
anatomy of the badger means that the method chosen - free shooting - is
simply not appropriate, since it carries a very high risk of leaving
badgers wounded and in pain. In addition there is a risk to people of
injury and even death from the use of firearms at night to carry out the cull.
Caroline Allen added, "Even if there were a better chance of success I
don't believe it is ethically right to be attempting almost to clear an
indigenous species from large tracts of our countryside. Sadly the badger
has become the scapegoat for this disease. I call on the Government and
Defra to wake up and show some leadership and deal with other aspects of
disease transmission, including cattle-to-cattle transmission. Then we may
start to make some progress against this disease and the distress it
causes to farmers and their herds."
FURTHER INFORMATION: Caroline Allen, Green Party spokesperson on Animals:
For any interview enquiries, please contact Green Party national press
office, 020 7549 0315. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27
Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is
available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org Members of the Green
Party were amongst those attending the recent anti-Badger Cull
demonstration, in London.