No scientific basis, ineffective and could make matters worse: John’s thoughts on the badger cull

John Denham talks to constituents about their concernsTomorrow the Labour Party has put forward an ‘Opposition Day’ debate on the badger cull.  John will be voting against the badger cull tomorrow.  Because many constituents have asked John about how he will be voting,  here are his thoughts on tomorrow’s Badger Cull debate:

“Bovine TB is a terrible disease.  Last year alone 28,000 cattle were slaughtered in England and the Government estimates that its cost to taxpayers will reach £1 billion over the next ten years.  The decision to proceed with a cull, however, is the wrong one.

“My colleague Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, has secured an Opposition Day debate on the badger cull on Wednesday 5 June.

“In these debates we must be led by science.  The science tells us that a cull could make bovine TB worse.  After 10 years work testing and researching culling, the Independent Scientific Group concluded in 2007 that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.’

“The science simply does not support a cull.

“A cull would be bad for badgers, bad for farmers and bad for taxpayers.

“Each cull will cost farmers £1.4 million, and the Government’s own impact assessment shows those costs to farmers will outweigh the benefits.  Bovine TB will increase in the next 2 years as the shooting displaces badgers and the policing costs, paid by the taxpayer, will balloon to £4 million.

“There is no scientific basis for the cull. It may not be effective and could make matters worse.  That is why I will be voting against the Government’s plans for a badger cull on Wednesday.  My Labour colleagues and I will continue to call on the Government to take a science led approach to dealing with this terrible disease.”

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