SO Desmond Swayne MP thinks it’s a good idea to cull badgers to control Bovine TB (BTB) (Daily Echo, August 8)?
There is no doubt that some badgers do have BTB, but to blame them for spreading it countrywide is unproven. The incidences of BTB exploded after foot and mouth when the Government of the day under pressure from the National Farmers Union allowed farmers to begin trading cattle from BTB hotspots without testing them first.
If badgers were solely to blame for BTB how come there is no BTB in Scotland where there is no badger culling, but there is BTB on the Isle of Man which has no badgers and in Ireland it is twice as high, where so many badgers have been killed that they are extinct in many areas.
Isn’t it strange that a farmer can always shed a tear when the cameras are on them as one of his cows are sent for slaughter after testing positive for BTB, but there is no mention of all the other animals he sends for slaughter for profit or other business-related reasons.
All farmers are businessmen and want to maximise profit.
Lord Krebs said recently ‘The trial evidence should be interpreted as an argument against culling. You cull intensively for at least four years, you will have a net benefit of reducing BTB in cattle of 12 per cent to 16 per cent. So you leave 85 per cent of the problem still there’.
Mr Swayne is just trying to toady up to the farming vote without looking at the evidence. All recent polls on the subject have been against the culling of badgers. I suggest as an elected public servant he starts representing the majority.
D C MUNDAY, Hythe.