(Received via email)
“My name’s Violet and I have recently started working on reactive campaigns at the RSPCA. I love your blog and know you’ve posted RSPCA stories before. I have a matter that I’m sure you’re aware of and I’m hoping you’ll be interested in covering in your blog.
The government have announced that they will go ahead with the widely ill advised badger cull. This decision comes in spite of scientific evidence* which shows that culling is a misjudged effort to control bovine TB, will be of little help in reducing the disease long term and could actually make things worse! The details of how the government proposes to go about this cull are even worse than we imagined. They are relying on ‘ifs’ and making assumptions not based on evidence. At least 70% of the badger population in many areas will be killed many of them healthy.
We’re asking supporters to express their outrage at the decision in our tagging campaign via our main facebook page which will act as a petition of sorts. It is vital that we send a strong message to the government that bad science must not prevail. You can find more information at http://www.facebook.com/RSPCA, and I’ve attached the graphic for your reference. I have the graphic if you like and you are quite welcome to use this on your blog.
We also have serious concerns on the licensing of farmers and landowners to free-shoot badgers. Shooting badgers is difficult as badgers have a very thick skull, thick skin and a very thick layer of subcutaneous fat and because of the short, squat body and the way their legs work, free-shooting means a high risk of wounding the badgers instead of killing them, causing a slow, painful death.
The RSPCA believes that badgers are being made the scapegoats for a rise in bovine TB in cattle. Do you think this campaign is something you may be interested in writing about? There’s also some more information below, which you’re free to use in a blog post if you are able to help.
• Indiscriminate killing could mean that 70% of local badger populations could be wiped out, many of them healthy
• Government has chosen to ignore science and public opinion and approve free shooting of badgers
• 40,000 recorded objections to a badger cull in England from the RSPCA alone
• Free-shooting means a high risk of wounding the badgers instead of killing them, and causing a slow, painful death
• Independent Scientific Group: ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.’
• A 2006 consultation showed 95% of respondents were opposed to a cull
• Research over a decade cost taxpayers £50 million and cost the lives on 11,000 badgers is being ignored by DEFRA
*The Independent Scientific Group on cattle TB (ISG) published its final report in 2007. It was the result of
painstaking research over nearly ten years, cost the lives of about 11,000 badgers and cost taxpayers £50 million. It
concluded that killing badgers could actually increase the spread of bTB in the area around the cull, making matters
worse rather than better – a process called perturbation. It said, “badger culling can make no meaningful contribution
to cattle TB control in Britain”