Badger cull
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Sick and disabled people are being pushed off benefits at any cost

Sick and disabled people are being pushed off benefits at any cost | Badger cull | Scoop.it

Sharon Brennan: As Panorama showed, the pressure on medical assessors to declare sickness benefits claimants fit for work is immense.


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Badger Culling Due To Begin Amid Protests

Badger Culling Due To Begin Amid Protests | Badger cull | Scoop.it
The badger culling season opens amid the protests of animal activists who vow to stop the measure, aimed at tackling bovine TB.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 2, 2013 3:10 AM

The badgercull is not a simple matter.  Even the politics behind the cull are riven with dissent.  The debate on June 5th will be a tight and complex affair.  I know that a raft of government MPs are likely to vote against the policy.  It will be a tight call for government whips.

Blue Badger, the conservatives against the cull, were very visible outside Defra and in the march yesterday.  They understand that culling badgers is a sure vote looser.

Bill Oddie is not a Blue Badger member, but he shares the same view.

The badger cull is a triumph of politics over science and will make no meaningful contribution to controlling bovine TB in cattle.

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England against the badger cull

England against the badger cull | Badger cull | Scoop.it

England against the badger cull Get your MP to vote on the badger cull; we have a strong democracy - lets use!


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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 3, 2013 3:36 AM

I was proud to attend the London Agaist the Cull march through Westminster on June 1st with thousands of other committed animal welfare and nature conservation supporters.

June 5th is now the key date with a full whipped Opposition debate in the House of Commons.  As Blue Badger, Conservatives against badger culling, shows - the issue does not split on party lines.

I expect a bloody debate on a very messy subject.

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Badger cull marksmen 'spotted in badger cull zone'

ACTIVISTS fighting the badger cull claimed to have spotted convoy of marksmen over an estate in the cull zone.Campaigners said armed men wearing dark glasses were circling Forthampton Estate, near...

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Dark men in glasses/ i bet thats true they probably think they are in a Tarantino film, with high powered rifles aimed at the enemy. Sad sad people who need to be stopped for the sake of public safety. With no official word where these morons might be carrying on their "virtuous" work, us ordinary folk are in danger from stray bullets

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£4 million bill and rising to police badger cull

£4 million bill and rising to police badger cull | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Taxpayers face a mounting bill for next month’s badger cull because of fears over the scale of militant action by animal rights activists.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, May 26, 2013 2:30 PM

One of the arguments used in support of transferring the delivery of badger culling to the private sector (aka farmers) is the argument that it saves the tax payers money.  The full costs of any public policy must take into account all parameters.  However, £4 million bill and rising to police badger cull seems to have been overlooked.

The huge level of public opposition to the badger cull (the e-petition has reached 225,000) indicates that protest is a factor that must be fully accomodated.  

Is £4M acceptable for policing the two pilots?  Yes of course if it is the price of ensuring public safety.  Is is acceptable for the delivery of two pilots based on cherry-picked scientific evidence - NO.  The whole point of the two badger cull pilots, due to start any day now, is to show that they can be delivered humanely, effectively and inexpensively.

Humaness has yet to be proven but the Humane Society International has so far failed to obtain satisfactory assurance that the right standards and processes are in place.

The effectiveness of badger culling as a means of managing bovine TB is refuted by leading scientists; Prof Lord Krebbs, architect of the Randomised Badger Control Trial, calls the current badger cull proposals a 'crazy scheme'.

And clearly the scheme will not be inexpensive.  On top of the millions spent on preparing the pilot culls policing is now expected to exceed £4M and the capacity of local onstabularies.


|| Police face the prospect of having to keep the peace between militants determined to disrupt the cull and the marksmen hired to carry out the killings.

Plans are in place to call on police officers from neighbouring counties and, possibly, private security companies to help maintain order.

Privately, senior officers have described the prospect of widespread protests against the cull as “a nightmare”.||


Yet today Owen Paterson has announced his desire to roll out 40 culls across England over the next four years, BEFORE the culls have even started, yet alone been fully evaluated by the ever enfeebled Natural England.

I have worked in nature conservation for over thirty years, the prospects for our wildlife and environment have never looked more bleak.  There is no leadership for nature from the English government and its agencies are just not up to the job.




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Environment minister faces squatting threat over badger cull

Environment minister faces squatting threat over badger cull | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Animal-rights activists are threatening to squat at the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s second home in southern France as opposition to the imminent badger cull becomes increasingly personal and vitriolic.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, May 27, 2013 5:35 AM

This is an aspect of a badger cull that I have long predicted; direct action against individuals.

Direct action is not a tactic that I either support or admire.  It clouds the debate, polarises opinion further and will be mis-represented by extremist supporters of the cull.

The badger cull is a bad idea - this is a bad opposition tactic.

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Controversial badger cull begins this weekend as activists vow to sabotage efforts to fight TB

Controversial badger cull begins this weekend as activists vow to sabotage efforts to fight TB | Badger cull | Scoop.it
More than 5,000 badgers will be shot in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset over a six-week period in an attempt stop the spread of TB among cattle.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 2, 2013 3:15 AM

The full implications of badger culling for the rural economy and the PR image of the farming industry has not been assessed in the government rush to pilot frees shooting of badgers to fulfill NFU wishes for a full cull roll.

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Badger vaccination 'would be cheaper to implement than cull'

Badger vaccination 'would be cheaper to implement than cull' | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Expert analysis shows the high cost of policing the expected protests means the expense of the cull now exceeds vaccination

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 4, 2013 6:44 AM

Badger vaccination is a viable tool; Gloucestershire Widlfie Trust started its programme in 2011 and is now in the thrid year of its programme.

Badger vaccination must proceed on an organised and strategic basis.  

The costs and the science support it - let's see it in use.

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We Farmers Must Realise That a Badger Cull Is an Irrelevant Distraction From Farming Reform

We Farmers Must Realise That a Badger Cull Is an Irrelevant Distraction From Farming Reform | Badger cull | Scoop.it
I'm proud of the fact that my family has farmed for generations which is why I want to see the government change its badger cull policy and instead drive forward a long-term solution which will, first and foremost, genuinely benefit cattle farmers...

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Farmer adds weight to argument against badger cull

Farmer adds weight to argument against badger cull | Badger cull | Scoop.it
FARMER David Purser has spoken out against a pilot badger cull, which could start today.The 56-year-old, who owns a farm near Cheltenham, about 20 miles from the edge of the cull zone, says there is...

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Why a badger cull won't work by herdsman Steve Jones

Why a badger cull won't work  by herdsman Steve Jones | Badger cull | Scoop.it
STEVE Jones, who has 35 years of experience managing cattle, he now lives in The Pludds:"I LIVE in the beautiful Forest of Dean overlooking the Wye Valley. I am right in the heart of the pilot...

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Deer cull logic must apply to badgers says FUW - Farming UK news

Deer cull logic must apply to badgers says FUW - Farming UK news | Badger cull | Scoop.it
The Farmers’ Union of Wales Council has called on scientists to recognise the huge damage being caused to the environment and cattle herds as a result of a massive increase in badger numbers, following a report by the University of East...

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, March 12, 2013 2:15 AM

Badger numbers have seemingly increased for two reasons. The laws to protect badgers them from illegal badger-baiting have been actively enforced. Just as important is intensive farming whihc has created badger friendly farmland with pastures rich in earthworms and abundant forage maize.

Badgers live on mountains and moorland elsewhere in their European range.

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Conservation agency approved cull of endangered birds, documents show

Conservation agency approved cull of endangered birds, documents show | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Natural England licensed cull of tens of thousands of lesser black-backed gulls on one of England's largest shooting estates (RT @dpcarrington: Following #buzzards, more birds destroyed on shooting estate, this time 1000s endangered gulls.
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Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns

Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Campaigners for badgers are mobilising to disrupt night-time shoots, as the 1 June start date approaches

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, May 27, 2013 1:07 PM

The Background

Professor Krebbs, architect of the Randomised Badger Control Trial (RBCT), has stated:-

"I would say the economics is very close as to whether it is worth it. But the government has made a decision that (it should be tried if farmers are willing to fund it)," he said.

"The question (then) is: 'Is it a significant effect? Is it cost effective? Is it socially and ethically appropriate?"


The Politics:-

||Sources have told the Guardian that David Cameron has made clear to the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, that another U-turn on the culls is unacceptable and that Paterson's job is at stake. An insider said that key officials in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are "pale with worry".||


The Policy:-

||England's highly controversial badger culls risk illegally wiping out every badger in the cull zones because the animals' numbers are so poorly known, according to one of the UK's leading badger experts.||


The Science:-

||Prof Woodroffe, a member of the Independent Science Group that evaluated the RBCT, said: "The difficulty of counting badgers is the Achilles heel of the policy." Woodroffe was a key member of the team that spent a decade and £50m culling 11,000 badgers before concluding that culling could make "no meaningful contribution" to reducing bovine TB. She said: "Badger numbers halted the cull in October and could still be the thing which makes the cull unworkable. That is completely plausible."||


The Activists:-

||Activists are gearing up to disrupt the pilot culls, using vuvuzelas and bright torches to frighten badgers away. "Whenever it happens we'll be ready – it'll be like an army," said Joe Thomas of Bristol Hunt Saboteurs. "The number of new volunteers has been astronomical and they are not your normal animal-rights people, it's everyday, ordinary people who are preparing to help."||


The Costs:-

The Telegraph has reported estimates that policing costs alone for the Gloucestershire and Somerset culls may exceed the £4M, on top of the legal challenges and the various unsatisfactory surveys of badger numbers


My Conclusion:-

A crazy scheme, not an original thought - but the evidence is stacking up that the pilot culls make no sense scientifically, are not going to be cost effective, have huge public opposition and are a guaranteed vote loser for a government that does not have surety of touch.



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Brian May to speak at badger meeting

Brian May to speak at badger meeting | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Former Queen guitarist and vice-president of the RSPCA Dr Brian May is among the speakers at a public meeting in Dorset about the forthcoming badger cull.

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KDFusion's insight:

I attended this meeting, and it was good humoured and obvious that the public want nothing to do with this cull. Speakers included Steve Jones, of whom more on this page

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, May 24, 2013 9:05 AM

With rumours that badger trapping may start as soon as June 6th in West Somerset, farmers in Dorset being approached for support for a third badger cull pilot zone and police investigating possible illegal badger sett obstructions on a major estate in the proposed West Gloucestershire pilot cull zone, Brian May will not be short of topical issues.


The badger cull will emerge as a major public awareness issue over the next   ten days.  There will be no winners in this debate.  

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Badger cull marksmen 'spotted in badger cull zone'

ACTIVISTS fighting the badger cull claimed to have spotted convoy of marksmen over an estate in the cull zone.Campaigners said armed men wearing dark glasses were circling Forthampton Estate, near...

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KDFusion's curator insight, June 5, 2013 5:00 AM

Dark men in glasses/ i bet thats true they probably think they are in a Tarantino film, with high powered rifles aimed at the enemy. Sad sad people who need to be stopped for the sake of public safety. With no official word where these morons might be carrying on their "virtuous" work, us ordinary folk are in danger from stray bullets

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Chief vet: We need badger cull to prevent spread of TB to humans

Chief vet: We need badger cull to prevent spread of TB to humans | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Tuberculosis in cattle could spread to humans unless the UK takes bold action to curb of the disease in the country’s badger population, Britain’s chief vet warned today.

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 2, 2013 4:40 AM

No evidence or risk assessment provided in support of headline grabbing comment.

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Badger Culling Due To Begin Amid Protests

Badger Culling Due To Begin Amid Protests | Badger cull | Scoop.it
The badger culling season opens amid the protests of animal activists who vow to stop the measure, aimed at tackling bovine TB.

Via Gordon McGlone
KDFusion's insight:

Elsewhere on this page are alternatives to this policy,which is born out of the countryside lobbys funding of the conservative party. Any clean up in parliament should include these people

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 2, 2013 3:01 AM

I joined the thousands who marched from Millbank to the Sanctuary in London yesterday.  A smaller deputation visited the empty (it was Saturday!) Defra HQ before the march giving rise to Reuters estimate that 200 only were on the streets.

The march was very well mannered. The marchers were deeply passionate about the wrong that is to be inflicted on brock and the ecology of woodlands, meadows and hedgerows in the name of politics not science.

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‘Hard culling’ puts 100,000 badgers in line of fire' | The Sunday Times

‘Hard culling’ puts 100,000 badgers in line of fire' | The Sunday Times | Badger cull | Scoop.it

‘Hard culling’ puts 100,000 badgers in line of fire'


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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, May 26, 2013 2:58 AM

'Hard culling’ puts 100,000 badgers in line of fire - Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times'


Paterson's affection for policy based on cherry-picked evidence is revealed in Leake's detailed interview with the Secretary of State.  It is clear that unless something significant derails the pilot badger culls, scheduled to start within a week or two, badger culling will be taking place throughout the South West of England over the next four years.


100,000 badgers might then be culled in the 40 cull zones that Paterson would licence and that the NFU have been pressing for.


|| OWEN PATERSON, the environment secretary, has drawn up plans for a big expansion of badger culling — including allowing farmers the freedom to shoot the animals — before the first two controversial trial culls have even begun.||


It is important to remember that the Gloucestershire and Somerset pilots will only test methods of culling; can badgers be killed to standards that are not fully published, humanely, cheaply - and by the farming community?


The pilot culls will generate no scientific knowledge.


Opposition to badger culling as a significant and sensible bovine TB management strategy is significant at political, scientific and public levels.


Owen Paterson has staked his career and his credibility in delivering a cull of badgers as the key plank in a bovine TB control strategy.  It is clear that his commitment is total.


The badger cull is a bad idea and a signal that future Defra policy will be driven by politics and not scientific evidence. 






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Badger cull: Brian May says he was banned from Springwatch

Badger cull: Brian May says he was banned from Springwatch | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Queen guitarist and badger campaigner says he wasn't allowed to mention cull on ITV or BBC

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 3, 2013 3:29 AM

Springwatch presenters have been told not to discuss the badger cull.  That must be a tough instruction for Chris Packham whose views are well known.  I would be surprised if a badger cull discussiondid did not erupt at some stage in the BBCs prime-time wildife coverage.

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Slash and David Attenborough join Brian May in pro-badger supergroup

Slash and David Attenborough join Brian May in pro-badger supergroup | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Artful Badger and Friends campaign against this summer's badger culls with the release of a song called Badger Swagger

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Gordon McGlone's curator insight, June 4, 2013 3:52 PM

The Badger Swagger; a popular culture take on the Badger Cull.

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A cull won't solve our farming problem, so stop blaming the badgers

I’ve been a hill farmer for forty years so I know a thing or two about cattle. I also know quite a bit about badgers because near our farm in north west Northumberland we have several badger setts in the valley.

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Badger cull: not in this farmer's name

Badger cull: not in this farmer's name | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Steve Jones: I farm in the cull area, and I know that killing badgers will not stop bovine TB – the answer lies in better farming practice...

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Badger cull pilots 'a waste of time, money and effort'

Badger cull pilots 'a waste of time, money  and effort' | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Despite losing more than half their valuable organic herd of beef cattle, a Devon farming partnership is against the badger cull.Robert James and Kate Palmer think the pilot culls in West Somerset and...

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Only mass deer cull can prevent destruction of British woodlands and wildife, say scientists

Only mass deer cull can prevent destruction of British woodlands and wildife, say scientists | Badger cull | Scoop.it
Britain’s deer population is out of control with numbers now reaching levels that are causing serious and sustained damage to wild flowers and birds according to the first scientific assessment of the density of deer living in the English...

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Another mammal faces extinction in Britain

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Maria Nunzia @Varvera 's curator insight, March 7, 2013 3:37 PM

First badger cull now this! When will the onslaught on nature stop?