The IEP Report – Ineffective and Inhumane

Posted: February 28, 2014 in Comment
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That was the conclusion of the Independent Panel on the 6 week Badger Cull trials in Gloucestershire and Somerset. Well, no shit Sherlock.

I’d actually written a completely different piece prior to witnessing the one sided disgrace this morning on the BBC’s Breakfast program with Brian May, a farmer and a vet. It was a satirical interview with one of the panel members however now I don’t feel it’s appropriate as I sit here feeling disgusted and angry all at the same time.


What we were shown was a farmer who’d lost animals to TB and was clearly in favour of culling and a vet who may have well have been Owen Paterson himself. It worries me that professionals who should be concerned about animal welfare are now only serving the people who manage animals and not the animals themselves. They’re more interested in their farming contracts than the larger welfare picture for both farmed and wild animals. I sincerely hope this obnoxious and completely misinformed individual doesn’t represent the rest of the veterinary industry or we are all indeed in a mire. I can only concede that he was a Government stooge overflowing with cherry picked data used out of context to justify culling as a method of disease control and his claims that protestors were causing perturbation was quite frankly a sign of desperation, I could almost see the strings being pulled from the gantry.

Brian May spoke from another location and did his best, holding the moral and factual high ground but the discussion was stage managed in such a biased way he wasn’t allowed to speak and faded out when the others spouted their NFU propaganda. The BBC used to be a jewel in the broadcasting crown of the UK, a bastion of impartial and factual reporting but as we witnessed this morning and during the badger cull itself last autumn we can now show it to be the Government puppet it really is. A sad day indeed.

On the report itself it indicates that some Badgers took 5 minutes or more to die once shot. From my experiences in the field I can only say it’s absolutely heart-breaking to hear that muffled crack of a suppressed rifle, then the screaming of a wounded animal that tries to get away with its insides having been blown out yet no vital organs hit. Those slow minutes are indescribable to hear and will haunt me forever and just one reason why, if the wider culls do get rolled out, I’ll be out there again fighting it with every tool at my disposal. It also shows that Defra, as an organisation were prepared to lie time again to cover themselves and their corrupt policy. Anyone remember this tweet?

Constant lies

Constant lies

Just one example, of which there are many of the lies spouted by Defra and the Minister in an effort to justify their actions. I’m still waiting for the proof that all the Badgers shot were showing advanced signs of TB as Owen Paterson claimed in the House of Commons. The simple fact is they weren’t tested and as anyone with half a brain and a little research knows only a tiny proportion of Badgers actually had TB and of those an even smaller proportion would be showing signs of the disease and capable of passing it on to cattle. These super-excretors just didn’t exist. Gloucestershire had the largest population of vaccinated Badgers in the country, vaccinated, healthy Badgers that were then shot.

Of course the report itself is only commenting on free shooting as a method of Badger extermination, not whether culling is a necessary tool in the control of bTB. We’ve already seen how farmers and the Government are looking into alternative methods, with gassing seeming to be a popular subject for investigation. Gassing is currently banned and for good reason. It’s even more inhumane causing astonishing suffering and likely to leave those animals not killed severely brain damaged.  I’ll say this now and quite openly – If they go down this route I and many others like me with use any method, ANY METHOD, to stop it.

As a nation we have to take responsibility for our actions and it will be no good pioneering initiatives on ivory and Rhino horn or large and glamorous endangered species when we’re gassing and killing our own native protected ones. There is no justification, that is without question. To all those people on Facebook and Twitter that showed disgust at the photos of big game killed purely for enjoyment I say to you look closer to home. See what is happening in your own country. If you’re not getting angry you’re not paying attention. Get out there and join those already making a difference.

Apathy will kill all our wildlife.

The true reason

The true reason

For an indepth look at Bovine TB I suggest reading this excellent report publish by TB Free England.  Click Here

Natural England Compliance reports. A catalogue of bad practice and even road kill to boost numbers. Click Here

The Gloucestershire Summary. Click Here

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