Somerset Lib Dem Farming Minister ‘Shameful’ says Labour Activist

deadbadgersDuring the early stages of the Coalition the Department of Environment was exclusively run my the Tories, first Caroline Spelman whom after the mess of the forest sell off campaign was replaced by blood sports mad Owen Paterson. This ministry which includes DEFRA has always been controlled by farmers and country landowners with no Liberal Democratic representation. That was until Somerset’s own David Heath was appointed as the farming minster a year ago almost to the day. A breakthrough one might have though in the area where the big lobbying groups like the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the County Land and Business Association (CLA) have there tentacles all over, both here and in the EU regarding subsidies.

Labour activist Graham Forsyth is angry and David Heath receives both barrels :

David Heath had an opportunity of a lifetime to impose his mark and that of his party as a former Somerset pig farmer and an Oxford science graduate. He could have questioned the science and political muscle behind this badger cull.

Mr Heath’s boss, Owen Paterson is already pushing for the exploration of fraking, GM crops and of course the badger cull which he intends to roll out across most of the country as soon as possible. Mr Patterson also writes exclusively for the Countryside Alliance and hence heavily associated with the dark evil motives behind this badger cull, where our wildlife is compromised for the sake of countryside profits and countryside pursuits.


With his life in rural Somerset and a graduate of Oxford with an MA in Physiological Science, David Heath was well placed to confront the politics and science behind this cull. But alas no, he has shown himself like other Liberal Democrat MP’s to be week and spineless in tackling the extremes of right wing Tories who have an agenda so far removed from reality.

Owen Paterson and the powerful NFU (which is unelected quango who represent only 18% of British farmers), are in the process of slaughtering between 5,500 and 7,000 badgers. This in spite of all the published science being against this approach. This slaughter will continue over the next 25 years and will attempt to wipe out at least 130,000 of our native badgers.

Lib  Dem minister david Heath labelled 'cowardly'
Lib Dem minister David Heath labelled ‘cowardly’

All I was expecting from Mr Heath as the farming minster was to look at the science and observe that bovine TB rates have actually been falling since January, 2013. This is when better bio-security measures were finally enforced. But cattle movements still remain very high and need further investigation as to why so many take place.

Slaughtered animals

Only 1.7% of badgers actually have a strain of TB serious enough to possibly infect cattle and as the science states, most infection is being passed via the cattle-to-cattle route.

Only 0.5% of the national herd is actually bTB infected at the moment. Yet healthy animals are being routinely slaughtered and farmers compensated and as always at huge expense to the taxpayer. In addition of the animals slaughtered last year 28,400 carcasses were sent straight back into the human food chain! This makes a complete hypocrisy of the culling of both cattle and badgers. Slaughterhouses are simply being told to remove any visible bovine TB lesions! The government is making its money back this way and telling us the meat is safe and still Mr heath you say nothing and you do nothing!

The cull zone in West Somerset has almost no cows in it but there are plenty of hunting lodges up there and big agri-businesses developing bio fuels for profit over wildlife.

Mr Heath you were expected to examine the situation and argue the case based on sound science, instead you have behaved like an dithering old man who turns up at a family wedding and is told to sit down quietly out of the way and only comment on how lovely the couple look when asked!

These Badger Culls serve no-one but the undemocratic, feudal minority who believe they are above the law of the land and what you have allowed to happen by your inactivity Mr Heath is nothing short of a national scandal.

Effective as a dead sheep

If anyone ever need proof that why the Lib Dems are unsuitable as coalition partners then they need to look no further than David Heath as the farming minster. Who is effective as a dead sheep on a remote hillside farm in this debate. Shame on you Mr Heath and shame on what you have inflected on the country of Somerset and on the country of Gloucestershire.

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J.P. Craig
J.P. Craig
10 years ago

I quite agree with the above, especially where David Heath is concerned. However, I would like to know who is teaching the English Language in schools these days, as the grammar is appalling, if not non-existent.

Art Duncan
Art Duncan
10 years ago

Q:How is it that our government – in pursuit of its obligation to act honestly in all respects with the people of UK – have not published these facts & withdrawn the cull? Is there no truth, intelligence, integrity or competence in Westminster nowadays ???
A: …. Um! Only Caroline Lucas whom the Home Sec had arrested at Balcom for doing her job better than any other MP. May & the rest have no shame, apparently.

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