Thursday, 13 September 2012

Badger cull is ‘unscientific’ says former government scientific adviser

Former government scientific adviser and wildlife experts slam badger cull as unscientific and horrific in new HSI UK campaign video

September 2012. Large numbers of badgers targeted in the government's proposed cull could be left maimed and bleeding to death and badgers could even disappear altogether from large parts of England, claim expert scientists and naturalists appearing in a new campaign video for Humane Society International/UK.

Chris Cheeseman, former head of wildlife diseases at the Central Science Laboratory, joins naturalist and broadcaster Bill Oddie, veterinarian and Humane Society International/UK Director Mark Jones, and Deputy Head of the RSPCA's Wildlife Science Department Colin Booty, in a compelling five-minute video called "Kill the Cull, Not the Badgers" launched this week as part of HSI UK's campaign to stop the proposed slaughter of English badgers.

"The government tries to justify this wildlife massacre by claiming it's what farmers need to tackle bovine tuberculosis, but the truth is that the wool is being pulled over farmers' eyes," Mark Jones said. "The evidence is clear that shooting badgers won't solve the problem of TB in cattle and it's time that the government realise this. HSI UK's new campaign video allows the public to hear the truth direct from the experts - this will be an unscientific and ultimately unsuccessful policy in which thousands of badgers are going to lose their lives simply because the government is unwilling or unable to reform farming practices."

"Kill the Cull, Not the Badgers"
Bill Oddie said"Some of those animals are going to get maimed and they will bleed to death, they will probably crawl underground and die. It is a truly horrific situation."

Chris Cheeseman added: "This government claims that their policy is science-led but I'm afraid it's not ... [it] could lead to the deaths of -- using their figures - up to 130,000 badgers over a few years to achieve an overall, at best, 16 percent reduction in cattle TB. Now there are those of us in the scientific community who actually think it [the cull] will make it worse, and I suggest that's an unacceptable policy."


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