David invited us to his farm to video the tragic events unfolding. The result is an emotionally charged yet shocking video. We make no apologies for that. This is the distressing reality that farmers like David are having to face as bovine TB continues to devastate farming families across large parts of the country.
Bovine TB is a hugely complex disease. But the key points about it are quite simple - it's an infectious disease; it's endemic in some areas of the country; it's posing a huge threat to our beef and dairy farmers; and while cattle are slaughtered to stop its spread nothing is being done to control it in wildlife. You'll hear opponents of the cull repeatedly state as fact that there is no scientific basis for a cull and leading scientists don't support the policy. This simply isn't true.
All rumours and intel suggest that the controversial badger cull looks set to start this Bank Holiday Monday. Whilst many will be enjoying BBQs, weekends away or even just some good old Bank Holiday DIY, others will be cleaning their rifles, sorting their body bags, putting on their hunting gear and heading to the South West.
Fresh from the horse meat scandal, DEFRA has found itself in a new controversy, having again failed the British consumer in food traceability and labelling. The public now knows that over 20,000 cattle infected with bovine TB enter the food chain in the UK each year, and the government doesn't know where they go, where they are sold, and who is eating them.
Cameron may have realised the depths of his troubles when he found out he wasn't just taking on one national treasure but two. As if badgers weren't beloved enough, Sir David Attenborough has joined a musical supergroup consisting of Brian May, Slash, Shara Nelson and others as they enter the charts this week on an anti-cull ticket.
The vaccination, like all vaccinations, will not cure any badgers that have already been infected. If the percentage of badgers with infection is particularly high in one area, it may already be too late to use the vaccination there. Vaccinating the badgers in these areas will have very little effect on the spread of bTB to cattle, and will cost a vast amount of money.
It's important to put paid to some of the other myths that have grown up around this issue. The most up to date scientific advice available shows that a programme that tackles TB on all fronts at the same time, including in wildlife, will significantly reduce the problem. What's happened in other countries backs this up.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is to announce further plans to tackle bovine TB in badgers. In July the Government revealed controversial p...
The Labour Party's announcement that they want the government to review its decision to cull badgers suggests the animals' fate is about to become a p...
Caroline Spelman's announcement of the Government's intention to sanction the slaughter of badgers last week was devastating, not only because of the obvious implications for the future of one of our most iconic wild mammals, but because once again she has ridden rough shod over the opinion of scientists and the public.
Bovine TB is a terrible disease. Last year alone 25,000 cattle were slaughtered in England at a cost of £90 million to the taxpayer in testing and compensation for farmers. In hotspot areas like the South West, the toll on farmers and the rural community is immense. The Coalition Agreement promised farmers a science-led approach on bovine TB. With these proposals the government has turned their back on the science. The Environment Secretary has achieved the almost impossible. With the forests sell-off, her inept handling of wild animals in circuses and now an ill thought-out badger cull she has shot herself in the foot not once but 3 times. A hat trick unmatched by any other minister.