Huge bTB increases in every cull zone.
Since before the culls started, leading scientists have been warning that culling badgers could make the situation worse. Defra have always maintained that culling badgers would lower bTB inside cull zones and increase it just outside the zones. In December 2015 they published this (page 4):
The first line “within during” says that they estimate from previous culls that whilst a cull is on, bTB should drop by at least 12% and by as much as 32% inside the cull zone whilst it is taking place. After the cull has finished they expect it to keep dropping by between at least 10% and as much as 38%.
Well doesn’t that sound amazing? so how much has it actually dropped by, now that we have had three years of culling in Glos and Somerset and they only both have one six week period of culling left? The answer; no one will tell you.
Back in November 2014, pro cull Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown declared:
“We will begin after this second year, and certainly in the third year, to be able to analyse some of the results and see what is already known through some anecdotal evidence”
Yet here we are at the start of the fourth year of culling and still no data to show that bTB has reduced in any of the cull zones.
Other pro cull Tory MP’s are starting to get suspicious and the chair of EFRA MP Neil Parish has repeatedly asked in parliament when we can expect to find out about the expected drop, perhaps his promise on live TV in a debate with Jay Tiernan from “Stop the cull” that there would be no roll out of the culls until a drop had been seen in the autumn of 2015 has spurred him on. But even with is position of power, no one is giving him a straight answer, he asked farm minister George Eustice in May of this year and George couldn’t tell him.
We think the reason that no data has been presented showing that bTB has dropped inside the cull zones, is obvious, there has been no drop. We’ve spent many hours collating data from Defra’s bTB mapping website that updates all the outbreaks every month.
In Dorset the number of btb outbreaks that occurred inside and just round the edge of the zone between January and June in 2015, which was BEFORE the cull had started in the county was 12.
The cull started a few months later, so how many outbreaks have there been in 2016 over exactly the sam Jan-Jun period? the answer a shocking 31. A 250%+ increase
The number of outbreaks in Somerset and Gloucestershire have also both also increased since badger culling started, you can find out more here.
Please do write to your MP as a matter of urgency and ask them why the badger cull is continuing, when all the data available in the public domain is showing that it is making the situation worse. A link to your MP can be found here. Even if your MP is pro-cull it is worth asking them, your email simply asking them to find out what the situation is may change their mind.
Please do email any responses you get to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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