'Badger cull used to placate farmers reluctant to take less bloodthirsty but more effective measures,' Green Party spokesperson
Responding to the conclusions of the 'Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) strategy review 2018', which reveals that only 6% of bTB cases in herds can be linked to badgers and that culling may help spread the disease, Keith Taylor MEP, the Green Party's spokesperson on animal rights, said:
"This report makes for frustrating reading. The findings make it clear that cattle movements, land management and poor biosecurity measures are the main driving force behind the spread of bTB in England. At the same time, it highlights that the main use of the inhumane and hugely expensive badger cull is to placate farmers otherwise reluctant to take the less bloodthirsty but more effective measures."
"It is worth pointing out, as Sir Godfray does, that the review was specifically asked not to look at the effectiveness of the current badger cull with Ministers fearful it would have exposed the fact the government has consistently been unable to muster any reliable data to demonstrate its effectiveness."
"Ultimately, the report calls on the government to urgently adopt humane and effective bTB controls, including vaccinations, that aren't based on blind ideology or appeasing vested interests. It is time to end to put an end to the Tories' mass badger extermination programme once and for all."
On claims that the report supports the current culling programme, Mr Taylor, Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Animal Welfare Intergroup, added:
"Anyone spinning today's findings as a vindication of the current badger cull is deliberately misleading the public and farmers. The government explicitly limited the scope of this review to ensure it couldn't be critical of nor call for an end to the current inhumane badger cull policy. But, as veterinary surgeons exposed only yesterday, lies and misrepresentation are a common tactic used to defend the Conservatives' cruel, expensive and ineffective cull."