NFU knew that shooting badgers would increase bTB in cattle.
A document dating back to 2006 and when a team from the NFU were lobbying the Labour party to have a badger cull has just been unearthed.
In it the NFU discuss the different methods of killing badgers. Their preferred method is gassing:
“Gassing with CO/CO2 from exhaust gas is a method which the NFU wishes to see considered as a means of badger control. This method of control is believed to be less stressful to the wildlife involved than others currently being investigated. Using gas would enable the occupants of whole setts to be culled in one operation, thus minimising the perturbation which has been linked to the RBCT proactive trials.”
The NFU it seems were very acutely aware that a badger cull could make the bTB situation in cattle a lot worse, which was why they didn’t want a badger cull that involved shooting or snaring:
“In the absence of gassing as a method of badger control, it would be more difficult to convince farmers to involve themselves in shooting and snaring. The skills, training, time, and expense required are significantly greater. We also believe that these methods of culling will lead to piecemeal badger control in small areas, causing maximum disturbance to badger social groups.
We know from ecological studies undertaken by the ISG that social disruption of badger groups can lead to increased territorial ranging and an increase in bTB spread through perturbation. Consequently, there is a danger that snaring and shooting, when used as the primary or only culling methods, could increase the incidence of bTB in cattle herds, at least in the short term.”
So the NFU representing the cattle industry, eventually accepted and promoted a badger cull that they were convinced in 2006 would actually make the situation worse. Who in the farming community presented this information to the government and lobbied for it? None other than the current president Mr. Meurig Raymond.
Please do contact your MP and ask them why the badger cull is being rolled out when all the evidence available is showing that it is increasing bTB in the badger cull zones, as predicted by scientists and the NFU.
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