Government Strategy on Culling has Failed

Mick Lerry and Maria Eagle MP at Bridgwater House  "Why did Somerset MPs vote against 'action for flooding"
Cllr Mick Lerry and Maria Eagle MP at Bridgwater House “Government strategy on badger culling has failed”

Maria Eagle MP, Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA, said: “Labours strategy would include tackling TB in badgers focussed on badger vaccination; and enhanced cattle measures, including compulsory pre and post-movement testing, Paterson has put prejudice before science, secrecy before transparency, conflict before consensus and posturing before good policy”.

 “Owen Paterson has announced that the failed culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset are to be continued even though the leaked Independent Expert Panel (IEP) report said that they were ineffective and inhumane”, says Maria Eagle MP.

• On humaneness – “It is extremely likely that between 7.4% and 22.8% of badgers that were shot at were still alive after 5 min, and therefore at risk of experiencing marked pain. We are concerned at the potential for suffering that these figures imply.”

The target was no more than 5% of badgers taking five minutes to die.

Badger Patrol
The Government’s cull had been followed by nightly badger patrols. Here Labour’s Andy Lewis joins them to help monitor the tactics of the hunters.

• On effectiveness – “Controlled shooting in conjunction with cage trapping, over the 6-week period of the pilot culls, failed to remove at least 70% of the pre-cull badger population from either pilot area. It is extremely likely that combined shooting and cage trapping removed less than 48.1% of the badgers in Somerset and less than 39.1% of the badgers in Gloucestershire.”

“In Wales there has been no culling but a vaccination programme, there has been a 48% decrease in cattle slaughtered for TB since 2009” says Cllr Mick Lerry.

Maria Eagle MP said: “There seems to be no plan for independent oversight of the culls going forwards. This is a grave mistake. Labour will continue to work with farmers, wildlife groups and leading scientists to take forward an alternative strategy to eradicate bovine TB and introduce a comprehensive risk-based trading system, and more robust bio-security”.

Cllr Mick Lerry said: “Labour has said consistently that the culls are bad for farmers, bad for the taxpayer and bad for our wildlife”.



Cllr Mick Lerry – Leader of the labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset

Mobile 07775905080



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