Oct 9th
    The time is up - after a self-imposed six weeks the cull has failed to reach the required numnbers of badgers to be judged effective. So the government is going to extend it. Fair?

    The time is up – after a self-imposed six weeks the cull has failed to reach the required numnbers of badgers to be judged effective. So the government is going to extend it. Fair?

    The badger cull has officially ended. It has failed to meet its target.

    After six weeks of shooting the government has been unable to kill the number of badgers they said was needed to be sure the cull was effective in the time they said was required to be sure it was efficient.

    So they are applying to extend the period AND they are claiming they should lower their target.

    Hang on a minute…..

    Now I know how Alex Ferguson felt when the referee wouldn’t blow the whistle. If someone can explain to me why this isn’t making up the rules of a game as you play it please write to me.

    I have, as yet on this year, not felt as angry by politics as I have today. What a load of dunces.

    If you remember, the government wanted to kill 70% of the badgers in the Somerset cull zone, representing over 2000 badgers, to be sure they would wipe out enough of the supposed TB threat without killing the whole population (as that would not be nice).

    They have killed 850, around 40% of their target. This is terrible news but also good news. The protests have worked, the shooting has failed, many badgers have been saved.

    The reason for the six week limit was to stop the ‘peturbation effect’. If you kill over a long period the badgers flee and spread any bTB further, making the shooting counter-productive.

    Now they want another three weeks.

    This quote from the original DEFRA site :

    Defra has taken advice from a group of independent scientists and they advised that limiting culling to a period of up to 6 weeks would be likely to reduce any adverse effects of non-simultaneous culling.

    After culling in the pilot areas has finished, we will need to evaluate the results of the monitoring in order to take a decision on whether further licences can be considered.

    Sorry…. DEFRA have ‘taken advice’ from scientists?

    What about advice from the 10 year, £50 million independent scientific study that concluded  that  the cull would not work and that it was ‘crazy’ (Lord Krebs himself, the eminent scientist in charge)???

    DEFRA have now said – which is very handy for their shooters – that they think there are less badgers in the area than originally thought. Which means it will be easier to judge their cull a success.

    OK…so they have failed to judge the number of badgers, failed to kill the required amount in the required time and failed to listen to the science. Oh go on, have another try.

    This is like playing football with a mean older brother. He trips over his own shoe laces on the half way line, claims he should have a penalty, fails to score (depsite his younger brother being keeper and only 2 years old) and then demands another penalty because he saw a badger moving behind the goal.


    On top of this the government are refusing to declare how many of the dead badgers had bTB. It would be quite nice to know, and surely very informative to know,  that at least some of the badgers killed had the disease that was supposedly  causing the cattle problems.

    Amazingly, when Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was asked if he had “moved the goalposts” by claiming the cull was a success he responded:

    “The badgers moved the goalposts. We’re dealing with a wild animal, subject to the vagaries of the weather and disease and breeding patterns.”

    Really? You didn’t know badgers were wild. You didn’t account for ‘weather’? Or even disease – when that is what you are trying to manage? How long can he avoid admitting he was told to do this by Uncle David and Uncle David was told to do this by the National Farmer’s Union and the National Farmer’s Union were told to do it by their farmers who want a knee-jerk reaction to a  problem that can be solved in FAR better ways.

    Don’t let this continue. Write to your MP to express your views. 

    Simply ask what they are going to do about it. And if they say it’s a fair cull, pass them on to me.

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    1. They haven’t autopsied them, have they? http://tinyurl.com/mgw8rfx Some well-informed comments there.

    2. Environment Minister confirms UK government’s pro-GM agenda to ANH-Intl
      Who’s behind the EASAC report?

      The working group that developed the report was hand-picked by EASAC, which, its website informs us, “Is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States”. Planting The Future heavily stresses EASAC’s independence: “The academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of public policy…Its views are vigorously independent of commercial or political bias.” So why does such an independent, scientifically respectable body come to a pro-GM position that is apparently devoid of any nuance?

      One clue comes from the ‘Séralini affair’. Members of the august national scientific academies that comprise EASAC climbed over each other to discredit Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini et al’s now-infamous paper. The French Academie des Sciences, for example, joined forces with five other French academies to slam Séralini et al. Similar criticisms were made by German, Belgian, Danish, Dutch and Italian scientific authorities, all of which are undoubtedly affiliated with their national academies and therefore EASAC. Furthermore, as GMOSeralini.org points out, “Government agencies…are not disinterested parties, since they have been responsible for authorizations of GM NK603 maize and Roundup”.
      Conflicts of interest

      And what are we to make of authors with obvious GM industry connections? Prof Ian Crute is an ex-Director of Rothamsted Research , the GM research institute where Mr Paterson gave his June speech. Dr Ewen Mullins is a researcher at Irish semi-government authority Teagasc, which carries out GM field trials. Jörg Romeis was at the centre of controversy over GM studies designed to overlook toxicity to non-target beneficial insects. And a quote by Prof Joachim Schiemann gives an inkling of the prevailing attitudes among members of the European Food Safety Authority’s GMO Panel: “Of course, studies that describe potential negative environmental effects of GMOs are discussed particularly intensively.”

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