Under the Badger Protection Act 1992, (see next post) farmers may apply for a licence to kill badgers or to interfere with a badger sett, under Section 10 (2) (a) for the purposes of preventing the spread of disease.
Owen Paterson MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture received the following answer from Bradshaw to a PQ which asked how many such licences had been issued. (158605 -18 March 2004)
It is current policy NOT to issue any licences under Section 10 (2) (a) to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, except for animals held in captivity.
So there's been a change in the law ?
An amendment to the Badger Protection Act 1992?
A statute proposed and discussed by Parliament?
A democratic, properly proposed and robustly argued change then?
No actually. Mr. Bradshaw decided all on his own - or rather 'somebody' did.
The result is despite the Act having several sections which should have enabled the control of disease (and that includes leptospira and salmonella and well as tuberculosis) within a wildlife reservoir, 'somebody' decided that this law should be changed.
Can this happen in what we fondly describe as a 'democracy'?
Ask Mr. Bradshaw.