Britain's badgers are in real danger of being culled by the Government, for a 'crime' they did not commit.

For a long time some farmers and DEFRA personnel have been advocating the killing of badgers as a way to control bovine TB in cattle herds. However, the evidence implicating badgers in the spread of TB was largely anecdotal.

The issue of bovine TB and the badgers' role in transmission has now been thoroughly studied by a group of leading scientists, the Independent Scientific Group (ISG). After ten years of research, costing £50m and the lives of almost 11,000 badgers, the scientists have concluded that "badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain". Cattle to cattle transmission has now been shown, beyond all doubt, to be the primary vector by which the disease is spread.

The scientists clearly state that the spread of TB can be reversed by "the rigid application of cattle-based control measures alone".

These findings have not been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union which, while claiming that it wants to see a decline in bovine TB, is opposing essential TB testing and movement restrictions of cattle, measures which would stop the spread of disease. The only solution the militant NFU wants to consider is badger killing!

The Government has spent a lot of taxpayers' money on this study, so you would think that they would follow the advice given. Wrong!

Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, has decided to ignore the research findings and advice of these eminent scientists and insist on badger culling as a way to control the disease!

This has caused a storm of outrage in the scientific world, with leading scientific journals speculating that King's advice is given just to please the farmers' leaders.

The NFU's intransigent attitude and the union's apparent hold over Government advisers now seems likely to result in the slaughter of Britain's badgers, despite the fact that science has found badgers not guilty of causing the widespread outbreaks of bovine TB.

Before farmers expect the public to stomach a mass slaughter of the country's favourite wild animal, they should put their own house in order. Poor animal husbandry, lack of bio-security on farms and repeated movement of untested herds all perpetuate this cattle disease.

It is hardly surprising that TB flourishes on our farms when intensively reared cattle are herded together in poorly ventilated cow sheds, standing in their own excrement for the long winter months.

Killing badgers will not do anything to reduce TB rates in cows, but it will waste a huge amount of taxpayers' money and result in thousands of badgers dying needlessly.

If, like me, you are shocked and outraged that the British Government is prepared to ignore sound scientific advice just because it contains an inconvenient truth then please take action.

If the Government won't listen to the advice of the Independent Scientific Group then we should make them listen to the protests of the public.

Please do all you can to prevent this impending and unjust cull by writing to you local MP and Gordon Brown. Please contact your local badger group for more information or to offer your support.

E-Petitions can be found at and at There is also a petition at the RSPCA's web site Also more info at

MICK NEEVE, chairman, East Hampshire Badger Group.