Reflection on the Badger Debate

I sat with a growing sense of dismay in the public gallery to watch and listen to the full Opposition debate on the badger cull and was disappointed to see how few MPs actually attended.  However, when it came to the vote, although the motion was defeated by 299 to 250, I have to say I was encouraged.  Voting against your Party when there is a three-line whip could be regarded by some as jeopardising your job prospects and certainly your ability to advance in the political world is brave indeed.  Under that kind of pressure, for there to be I believe, more than half a dozen Conservatives and Liberal Democrats who voted with the opposition and for the government majority to be as narrow as 50 votes, spoke volumes.

So, now what.

I wonder just how far the government is prepared to go to persevere with a policy that clearly has little public support, lacks scientific credibility and can only secure such a veneer of political backing in the House.

As Virginia said in her speech “Clearly, the Secretary of State believes that he has no option.  I say to him that he does and I say to him that he will earn the deserved respect and appreciation of the vast majority of the British public if he is courageous enough to abandon his stated policy and to work with us – with all of us – to end the scourge of Bovine TB and to save the badger.”

To restate what I think is the obvious: We can either embark upon a badger culling process that will see tens of thousands of badgers killed resulting, at best, in a 16% reduction in Bovine TB after ten years or we can admit that we should have done things sooner, that we  must invest in both a badger vaccination programme and support the volunteers who are willing to implement it, address the European Union issues relating to Bovine TB including the DIVA test which would differentiate between cattle that have been vaccinated and cattle that have not and end up with a country that is safe for dairy farmers, safe for their cattle and safe for badgers.

Born Free is proud to be a Member of Team Badger!

One Response to “Reflection on the Badger Debate”

  1. Victoria Cole Says:

    I have been astonished by the backlash from the pro cull farmers and MPs, threatening farmers who opposed the cull that they would not work again, labelling this a ‘class war’ or from the Environment Minister himself ‘sad sentimentality’- The majority of people do not see the cruel and relentless destruction of our native wildlife as a ‘privilege’ and the sentimentality is surely for the belief that a U turn is a sign of weakness and following a misguided policy disowned by Lord Krebs and legitimate scientific parties.

    The decision not to allow Springwatch presenters to mention the cull on the programme and Dr Brian May being gagged on Loose Women is incredible in a climate where free speech and demonstration with huge policing costs is allowed for both the BNP and radical speakers?

    http://kerrymccarthy.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/badger-trial-is-rigged-and-useless/
    http://www.wlv.ac.uk/default.aspx?page=35405