In spite of the blustering ‘it was only the first part of a trial’ response we have seen, the importance of the IEP report is very clear.
The IEP was set up, according to them, as a trial to see if culling by free-shooting was humane, safe, and effective. Since the verdict has been that the criteria were NOT met, it is quite clear that the pilots failed.
But, more importantly, it’s an indication that this method can NEVER be humane and effective. Contrary to the protestations of the NFU and their associated vets, there is no reason to suppose that the shooters can ever do any better than they did last year. The pilot areas were chosen because they were the easiest to negotiate … with the most compliant farmers, the easiest access, the greatest chance of success. But in the event, they weren’t even able to able to get their estimates of badger population right, with absurd allegations about badgers moving the goalposts, etc, so it’s hardly surprising that the whole operation turned out to be a shambles. The Government had been warned by Britain’s top scientists in the field – the architects of the RBCT, that culling, even if carried out to the Government’s declared standards, was doomed to failure anyway – it could not possibly contribute to the control of bovine TB and might make matters worse. Making matters worse is exactly what we have all just witnessed.
It is now absolutely clear that the badger cull must be abandoned.
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