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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Badger control consultation

I've spent some time going through notes on this subject from the SWT, that includes a 13 page report by Liz Deane Chair of the SWT Council in which she reviewed a wide range of published papers and reports on the subject.( Its very comprehensive). Also notes from  the Badger Group and the NFU. Finally I've looked at the DEFRA web site and browsed the extensive set of documents which make up their consultation doc.It all confirmed my view that the proposals are based on so many assumptions based on inadequate research and lack of relevant knowledge  that they are not at all certain to achieve their intended objective. The only certainty is that a large number of animals will be killed many of which will be healthy. 
If you want to see the DEFRA docs they are all available at this link here.

I've gone through the 8 questions they invite comment on and here is my response. Qu 1, 7 and 8 are the only ones I have written much about the others are all "No".

Of course we also want to encourage individuals to respond  as they see fit, the more the better regardless of what is said. A bigger post bag means more people are concerned about the subject one way or another.  Here  are my comments with the DEFRA question shown in bold:
Submission to DEFRA.
Qu 1.  Comments are invited on the options, costs and assumptions made in the Impact Statement.  ( that is Annex F )
The Impact Statement includes many assumptions which are unlikely to prove accurately assessed. Consequently it is not possible to predict a successful outcome and this is not an acceptable basis for killing a large number of animals.
We do not agree with a policy of culling badgers.
We consider such a policy to be unnecessary and not adequately supported by scientific evidence.
The Consultative Doc also shows many areas of uncertainty especially in the culling method statements.
Qu 2  Do you agree with the preferred option? 
Qu 3  Do you agree that this approach, of issuing licences to farmers/ landowners, is the most appropriate way to operate a badger control policy? 
Qu 4  Do you agree with the proposed licensing criteria for culling and vaccination?
Qu 5  Do you agree that the proposed methods of culling are effective and humane?
Qu 6  Do you agree with the proposed use of vaccination, particularly its focus on mitigating the perturbation effects of culling?
No , not as part of the culling process.
Qu 7  Should anything further be done to encourage the use of vaccination?
Yes. The use of vaccination should be promoted as the long term sustainable solution. Development of oral vaccine should be given greater urgency. Biosecurity should be strengthened.
Qu 8 Do you agree with the proposed monitoring?
No. We have no confidence that monitoring will be comprehensive enough  to ensure that the proposed procedures will be followed.
Signed and dated

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