26 August 2016
“There should have been both pre and post cull testing, comparative analysis from cull free areas, and post mortems on as many slaughtered badgers as possible. It is worth noting that some experts suggest that the prevalence of infection in the badger population may be as little as 9%, and that none of the three post mortems carried out in the previous culls revealed any signs of infection.
“If we are to eradicate the threat of bovine BT, we need to focus our attention on its main cause. That means examining practices within the dairy industry itself. We need better legislation to ensure that all farmers are taking effective biosecurity measures to limit the spread of disease, and we need to roll out a programme of vaccinations. Welsh farmers have already found these measures to be very effective; even in areas where infection rates were very high.
“The lack of scrutiny around the current, preferred method underlines GAP’s longstanding calls for the creation of an Animal Protection Commission with the responsibility of assessing the impact of government policy on other species.
“Since Bovine TB is a problem of the practices of intensive animal agriculture, the best way to eradicate its threat is to reduce consumer demand for dairy products in favour of badger friendly alternatives such as soya or almond milk.”