Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farmers will foot the bill ...

... for culling badgers for just 6 weeks annually, after they have had a 'closed season' of 6 months in which to breed. (That's the badgers, with sows having 2- 4 cubs each - not the farmers. ) This might happen in a couple of mini pilot areas which the Secretary of State may be 'minded' to allow.

But buried in Defra's latest Eradication Plan on page 10, is this little gem:
" For some farmers and landowners, using vaccination may be the preferred option for tackling bovine TB in badgers and licences to trap and vaccinate badgers will continue to be available. Vaccination may also have a role in helping to reduce the risks from perturbation caused by culling, when no other buffers are available. To support its use in these circumstances, we propose to make available up to £250,000 a year in grant funding to help meet the costs of vaccination. Further details about how to apply for funding will be published shortly."
Excellent. Our industry leaders are quite happy to commit farmers to cough up in advance, a blank cheque for four years' worth of culling, while an annual grant of £250,000 is made available to vaccinate ? When Defra and the minister know full well that vaccination is an unknown quantity? And from that which we do know, injectible BCG would appear to be job creation for FERA and of little practical use to cattle farmers. Or the owners of alpacas, cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, bison or goats - all affected by spillover bTB.

Meanwhile a raft of new cattle measures and restrictions are to be introduced.

Very similar to those Bourne described to Efra committee in his very own version of a trojan horse.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. And even more of the same.

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