cull dismay for wildlife
the Burnham-On-Sea area
carers in the Burnham-On-Sea area say they are "dismayed"
by the start of a controversial badger cull in Somerset for a
confirmed this week that the second year of the pilot badger culls
are underway in Somerset as part of their "comprehensive
strategy to deal with bovine TB".
Secret World Wildlife Rescue, based in East Huntspill, said they
are dismayed by the decison to resume the culling.
a statement the charity says: "Secret World Wildlife Rescue
is dismayed by the Governments intention to resume the culling
of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire."
the evidence of the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) showing that
the 2013 cull was both ineffective and inhumane, up to 1849 badgers
will be shot in our countryside over the next few weeks."
is concerned for the badgers welfare; up to 22.8% of the
animals in the 2013 cull suffered, taking longer than five minutes
to die from gunshot wounds causing welfare groups and scientists
to condemn the cull as inhumane."
Environment Secretary Liz Truss has defended the cull, saying:
"The second year of our planned, four-year badger culls is
underway. This is part of our comprehensive strategic approach
to make England TB-free."
approach includes cattle movement restrictions, vaccination in
the edge area, and culling where the disease is rife. Culling
operations have started in the same areas as last year, West Gloucestershire
and West Somerset."
is vital that we work to make England bovine TB-free doing
nothing is not an option. England now has the highest incidence
of TB in Europe greater than the sum of all other EU Member
States combined. Between 1997 and 2010, TB in cattle increased
nine fold, threatening the future of our beef and dairy industries
and our nations food security."
is why this government is pursuing a comprehensive strategic approach,
based on best international practice, supported by leading vets
and endorsed by the governments Chief Scientific Adviser,
Defras Chief Scientist and the Chief Veterinary Officer.
Overseas experience shows that in order to eradicate the disease,
the problem must be tackled in both cattle and wildlife."
our approach includes tighter cattle testing and movement restrictions,
vaccination of badgers in the edge area and culling of badgers
in those areas where the disease is rife. This approach has worked
in Australia which is now bovine TB-free, and Ireland and New
Zealand, Where incidence has dramatically reduced."
week I launched the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme to support
badger vaccination projects in those areas next to the high risk
area. Vaccinating healthy badgers in this way is intended to create
a buffer zone to help prevent the spread of bovine TB to new parts
of the country where the incidence of the disease is currently
very low. Vaccination cannot, however, replace culling in TB hotspots
such as Gloucestershire and Somerset as it doesnt cure infected
badgers who will continue to spread disease."
years culls incorporate improvements learned from last years
culls and those set out in the Independent Expert Panels
report. We have made changes to improve the humaneness and effectiveness,
including better training and monitoring. The culls will be monitored
closely and we have published details of the monitoring procedures
that AHVLA and Natural England will follow online."
Avon and Somerset Police have said that public safety is their
main priority. The force faced criticism after it emerged earlier
this year that NFU representatives were in the control room with
them during the cull.
Kevin Instance from Avon and Somerset Police told representatives
from Somerset Against the Badger Cull and Somerset Badger Patrol
that they would not have cull companies in the control room this
said: "Last year I was the first police commander in the
UK to have responsibility for policing the consequences of a pilot
badger cull of this nature involving the live shooting at night.
There was lots of uncertainty on how the pilot would develop and
what issues the police would face."
public safety and having the situational awareness of what was
happening on the ground were the key parts of my planning. Having
now experienced the cull activity last year and having debriefed
and consulted extensively, I feel that I am now able to build
a command and control arrangement that will not including having
representatives from the cull company and NFU in the police control
room without compromising safety."