For anyone interested in solving the bovine TB problem, this is a great collection of arguments and history. – A History of Bovine TB c.1965–c.2000
Hi Folks. Brian here.
It’s been a while since I did a “Brian Talks” – a while since I’ve been on Youtube rabbiting on, but I’ve been on tour as you may know down in South America, which was amazing. I have to send grateful thanks to all the amazing audiences who gave us such a wonderful welcome.
Now I’m back in Britain and in some ways it’s very nice and I still love my country, but at the moment there are some very grim things going on and we continue to fight.
On the eve of National Badger Day I sit here wondering what I ought to say to you… [Read on]
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What I will say is this. There’s a number of things. It’s about awareness. Please do raise awareness by tweeting and facebooking and whatever blogging, and for those of you who go out onto the streets to march and to protest and to make a noise, everybody’s with you, including me, absolutely.
Perhaps the most important thing of all though, is to direct our minds to the zones where the killing is going on as we speak. We tend to forget the enormity of the crime that’s being committed against badgers by the Government and the NFU and I believe it is a crime. Yes it can be legal, but it can be completely immoral because it’s unjustified. In terms of morals it’s unjustified in terms of the scientific evidence and of course it creates this huge rift between farmers and the public, rightly so in a sense, because this is something which cannot be justified.
Yes, Owen Paterson’s been going around as have some people from the NFU saying, “My God, the cull’s already amazing success”.
Well, it’s not true folks, and there’s plenty of evidence to show that they’re not telling the truth. The truth is that there is no evidence whatsoever to say that this cull is working. That’s why we protest. That’s why we believe that the badgers should not suffer in terms of physical and emotional and family destruction. That’s why we fight.
Do we have sympathy for the farmers? Yes we do. That’s why a lot of my own money’s gone into research and projects in Cornwall to see if vaccination will solve the problem. I believe it will, along with a lot of other measures, which need to be taken. These other measures that need to be taken are perhaps technical, but really blaming the badgers is a great excuse for the NFU to allow their members to, or in fact encourage their members to go on doing what they’ve always done and expect a different result.
This is not good news. This is not good policy, and anyone who is selling it as a solution to the bovine TB problem is being dishonest.
Yes, do we care about the cows? Yes we do, very much so, because the cows are being abused. Cows are going down. Cows are getting a horrible disease because of a lot of facts in history which had led to this. We are the only country in Europe which has this problem. It’s because we haven’t followed the rules properly. We haven’t done what we should have done in the past and we’ve done some very inadvisable things.
Doing nothing is not a solution, so often that’s put at us. No, doing nothing but doing something which probably makes the problem worse is absolutely unforgivable. It’s been shown by the RBCT experiment, which is really the only decent science that’s been done, the only proper science. It’s been shown that culling badgers randomly can actually increase the incidence of TB in cattle nationally, but that’s exactly what the Government had been doing.
It’s actually worse than that, because farmers for years and years have been taking it upon themselves to victimise badgers and kill them sporadically with disastrous results, with the results that we have at the moment, which is that TB is rife.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you wanna to do something really great and save badgers, join the wounded badger patrols just for one night, perhaps. It doesn’t take a great commitments, not your whole life, but for a night or two you can go down there and just walk with these people, these kind, compassionate people who care enough to walk the line which says we will not allow badgers to be abused. We will not allow them to suffer.
There’s plenty of documentation of careless shooting and callous behaviour. Just the fact that you’re there makes people toe the line of decency. It makes the shooters behave decently and you can save a badger’s life. It’s not a question of extinction of a species. It’s not a question of ecology. It’s a question of decency to an individual badger and the badger’s family.
We don’t need to be doing this. The badgers have been in this country longer than we have. They deserve a decent life and a decent death. This is not it.
Please, at the end of this message, have a look at the numbers. Call somebody and join a wounded badger patrol in the few days that are left of this disgraceful cull in Gloucestershire, in Somerset, and perhaps most of all, in Dorset, which is some kind of half-baked roll out.
We have reason to be happy. Yes, we haven’t won this war yet, but if we hadn’t been fighting, the likes of you and me, this horrific and ineffective and cruel badger cull probably would have been rolled out throughout the whole country by now.
We will win this. It’s indecent. It’s immoral. It’s ineffective, and it’s costing the taxpayer millions unnecessarily. It’s not solving the problem.
Let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s hang in for just a little bit longer and if you wanna see us down in the wounded badger patrols, you’ll probably see me there later on as well.
God bless you all. Let’s keep up the fight for decency.
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