Derek Mead Badger huggers do more harm than good
It's worth reminding ourselves what the letters RSPCA stand for. It's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – which under the current circumstances is rather misleading.
Because the society's decision to throw in its lot with the badger-huggers certainly is not preventing animals suffering. Quite the opposite. Its attempts to thwart the badger cull have ensured that thousands of badgers suffering from TB have died a slow and agonising death from its effects rather than being put out of their misery very rapidly indeed. Of course, the society is just using the plight of the badger as another shroud to wave, another device to persuade the public to hand over cash to keep it running.
It's realised the public is woefully misinformed about the true situation as regards TB and farmers and is exploiting that ignorance to the full.
Presenting vaccination as a workable alternative to culling is a cynical deception designed to crank up even more support from the populace when, as even they must realise, vaccination isn't going to solve the problem for years, if at all.
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It conveniently overlooks the fact that it's pointless vaccinating a badger which already has TB and that there is no possibility that anyone can round up all the uninfected badgers and vaccinate them, which is the only way that system is going to work.
There is no doubt in my mind and those of many other farmers that the cull as proposed is a flawed solution. It's going to result in the deaths of healthy as well as sick badgers, and no-one wants that.
On the other hand, we have to make a start clearing up the mess bequeathed to us by years of scientific squabbling, pointless and aborted trials and sheer procrastination by Labour politicians.
There are other remedies and they deserve a trial too –indeed, I see Michael Seals, chairman of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, is calling for other methods of controlling transmission to be suggested.
Unfortunately, Mr Seals is only a Defra puppet and unless the new man at the department, Owen Paterson, has started to shake up his civil servants, there is precious little chance of any alternative ever being seriously considered on past form.
Defra understands as little about farming as do Brian May and Bill Oddie. There's no evidence it or they realise the severity of the problem or the probability, if we don't start fire fighting now, that there won't be any livestock left to protect in a very few years' time.