The latest Defra Consultation on controlling badgers to prevent the spread of TB, (as opposed to the previous one) offers a monumental pile of dead trees and several Annexes. And not unreasonably, farmers are asking 'how do we respond?'. Their main representative bodies, the NFU and the NBA are keen that farmers do respond, but appear to give them little help to do just that.
In the previous 2006 consultation, the RSPCA and the Badger Trust used a flood of postcards to give a huge and overwhelming block vote against any action, driven on a wave of rhetoric and misinformation, from people who had absolutely nothing to lose. This was widely criticised and the current consultation has a preferred format of 8 questions. The difficulty is, finding this template.
The NFU website expresses the opinion that replies do not have to be the 8 answer format. (Click pdf link in the right hand box for finer details) While the National Beef Association have an out of date and limited list of meeting venues, and little else that we could find.
So we are most grateful to Dr. Brian May, for a clear template on how best to respond to Defra's latest effort.
A postcard from 'a farmer' saying yes, we must cull badgers, is not good enough.
Meanwhile with impeccable timing, yesterday Defra announced that BCG injectable vaccine could reduce TB levels in badgers.