Thoughts on Stroud meeting


I decided to travel to Stroud today to support this meeting because, as Save-Me, we are currently campaigning against yet another proposed Badger Cull.

This Government, egged on by the militant end of the farming community, is clinging to the notion that killing badgers will eradicate the disease of Bovine TB in cows. Yet even they must be aware that, apart from being deeply a unjust, cruel and desperate course of action, it simply cannot work. The Randomised Badger Culling Trial slaughtered around twelve thousand badgers. It took ten years to complete at a cost to the tax payer of over fifty million pounds. The conclusion of the Independent Scientific Group who monitored the trial was crystal clear – “culling badgers can make no meaningful contribution to the control of bovine TB in cattle in Britain”.

And yet, in spite of the fact that the Welsh Government has opted for vaccination – the only sustainable long-term solution to TB in badgers – Caroline Spelman, at present Minister for DEFRA, has authorised the killing of thousands of badgers in two so-called ‘pilot culls’ this Autumn. Most of the badgers, shot by marksmen at night, will be completely healthy – the killers will not even bother to find out whether they have TB or not. The best they can hope for, after all the slaughter, even according to their own highly optimistic guesses, is a paltry 12 to 16 per cent improvement over 9 years, in the incidence of the disease in cattle. The worst scenario is that the perturbation caused to badger families may make things much worse, especially to neighbouring farms, to which injured and socially displaced badgers may wander. We find it inconceivable that our government could give the go ahead for this DIY ‘trial’, in which it will be impossible to ascertain what percentage of badgers in any one area have been killed. This cull is inhumane, ill-conceived, scientifically bogus, and is certain, in the long term, to disappoint farmers. The only remaining motive can be a kind of vengeance, on animals who in fact are completely innocent.

I have come here today to hear Chris Cheeseman speak. One of the scientists who was involved in the RBCT. Chris is one of the world’s foremost experts on Badgers and bovine TB. I am also here in support of the Badger Trust, who are currently preparing for their judicial review on the 25th and 26th June, challenging the legality of this policy.

I have also come to meet and support The Stroud 100 group of landowners, who are speaking today, and collectively control over 800 acres of land around Stroud. These landowners will not allow culling on their property. We hope that other enlightened farmers and landowners will follow this example, to prevent the culling of badgers.

The overwhelming majority of British people do not want this bloody solution. We call on the government to call off the deeply flawed culling plans, before it is too late.

David Cameron’s self titled ‘green’ Government, intent on bringing back blood sports including fox hunting, is heading towards a nationwide cull of badgers, and has just this week authorised £375,000 of tax-payers’ money to trap buzzards and trash their nests, only retracting after an outcry from the public. This was at the request of a handful of rich landowners who claimed that buzzards were damaging their business, but had no proof. So we are all now within a hair’s breadth of subsiding the shooting industry, which already makes millions of pounds a year out of people who want to kill animals for fun. The final scandal is that Cameron and his ministers are intimately connected with these very businesses, though family and friends. It’s yet another indication of the arrogance of this small group of professional politicians who, even now, think they have the power to ride rough-shod over the wishes of the British public on their ‘control’ of foxes and badgers.

There is a rising tide of outrage; we believe the Coalition Government must not be allowed to get away with any of this abuse of animals, so blatantly contrary to the wishes of the British Public.

Brian May – Save-Me.