Thursday, 6 June 2013

Greens Oppose Badger Cull

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 Members of the Green Party were amongst those attending the recent anti-Badger Cull demonstration, in London.

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