Forty thousand badgers risk being killed in the latest slaughter intended to clear out TB in cattle. Shooters will take aim at the animals in 32 areas across 11 English counties, including two where the programme will take place for the first time.

A total of 40,892 face the death sentence under proposals drafted by the Environment Department, which awarded 11 new permits for executing the creatures. The scheme has already been in operation in Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Staffordshire and Cumbria have been added to this year’s slaughter, and a total of 19,724 badgers were slaughtered last year, indicating a doubling of the death toll if all the animals designated for slaughter are destroyed.

By supporting 11 new cull permits which now brings the number in England to 32 over 40,000 more badgers could be destroyed this autumn bringing the total destroyed since 2013 to over 75,000, and by 2020 over 150,000 are expected to have been destroyed as a consequence of the badger slaughter, driving this preserved species to the brink of extinction in parts of Britain where it has been occupied since the Ice Age.

Experts have condemned the badgers for stoking the spread of TB in cattle, and last year, more than 33,000 cows were killed in England to regulate the disease.

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Farming Minister George Eustice high pointed figures noting that in the two counties where culling first took place, outbreaks of TB in cattle had halved, and in Gloucestershire, the percentage rate has decreased from 10.4 per cent before culling started to 5.6 per cent in the 12 months following the fourth cull. While in Somerset it has fallen from 24 per cent to 12 per cent.

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Taking widespread action to stop bovine TB disease of cattle from the pool of infection in local badger communities is a vital part of the government’s 25-year plan to exterminate the disease in England.

Backed by stronger cattle checks including those areas seeing a decrease in cattle-badger-cattle disease, improved biosecurity and vaccination, and the commissioning of additional areas is important to understand infection control benefits across England.

It’s a sad day when our animals have to be culled and reports that it’s already failed is pretty frustrating, and this unfortunate development is born of a perversion of the true facts, backed by fake promises and propaganda dumped onto the farming community.

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So much for Gove being a new man, feeling compassion for all breathing things, but that was always a stretch of the imagination and the reality that they don’t listen to the experts, and that’s only part of the reason. They disregard the fact that not only is it heartless it’s also ineffective and not cost-effective.

The Tories appear to be masters in creating destruction, devastation and misery because there is mounting proof that badgers have little to do with the spread of bovine tuberculosis. And there are no grounds whatsoever for thinking that badger slaughter has made the smallest impact on the epidemic, but the government are apparently pushing forward, supported by the National Farmers Union.

Vaccination was pointed out at being much cheaper and more humane and more effective, but like all reports that the media do, once all the badgers are gone they’ll publish that vaccination is the safest way to go, and the government are like a rancid stench because no consideration whatsoever is given to the suffering of the badgers, and an expert panel presented a finding that the cull was neither humane nor effective.

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In fact, from David Cameron’s government, there was a shocking acknowledgement from his government to ensure that there was no independent panel for the next round of culls.

It now seems that bovine TB is spread to badgers from infected cattle, which the Badgers then go on to spread to other herds, and it certainly isn’t the badger’s crime as they’ve been tainted by mismanagement of cattle farmers and a failure to execute a wide vaccination programme.

It’s not only badgers that can spread bovine TB, but deer can also, so what are we going to do, wipe out all the indigenous wild animal population of the country to protect the cattle farmers?

The contribution of badgers to bovine TB may only be 6 per cent. That suggests that at least 94 per cent of the problem rests with the cattle herd itself. The overriding evidence is that the method of skin testing and elimination of individual reactive cows leaves infected and contagious animals in the herd, and so, of course, the problem returns time after time.

Save money, destroy a badger. That’s the Tory opinion, even if it suggests our entire wildlife’s been wiped out, and there’s no social conscience, and no concern for the natural environment either, and condemning reinfection on wildlife is a suave piece of manipulation, but it’s not backed by any proof.

Quite the opposite, and it’s worth mentioning also that even inside the so-called hotspot zones for bovine TB, numerous farms have never harboured the disease.

Cattle could easily be vaccinated against bovine TB but it’s too expensive and it’s cheaper to destroy the poor animals, and we should be concerned it doesn’t rub off onto humans because someday our government will be announcing that it’s too costly to vaccinate human beings and more cost-effective to exterminate us!

OR IS THAT WHAT THEY’RE TRYING TO DO ALREADY!

Culling badgers is a pill that is being given as a consolation prize to farmers who are desperate for something to be done. It’s a placebo. What the farmers need is a proper testing regime that really does clean up their herds.

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