Cameron’s intention to go ahead with the proposed badger cull should surprise nobody who is aware of this man’s involvement with blood sports, and his general indifference to the infliction of cruelty on animals.
This carnage will, of course, be ongoing and will be repeated annually, despite the scientific evidence that in areas surrounding the cull, the badger population will actually increase.
Of course the problem of TB in cattle will persist because the assault on the immune systems of these animals by the routine administration of drugs, antibiotics, and hormones will continue unabated.
When the badgers have been wiped out, the farmers and their political lackeys will instead persecute the deer or another of the species of wildlife that carries TB.
No doubt, the widespread ignoring by farmers of bio security measures at markets will also continue. A case of a farmer in Powys recently given a suspended sentence for reversing name tags on infected animals is probably the tip of an iceberg.
Mr Cameron already has the worst record on animal welfare of any prime minister in living memory.
He has introduced the export of live pigs to China (generally considered to be the worst country in the world for its treatment of animals), and has condoned the introduction of mega pig and dairy farms; he has permitted the sale of meat from the offspring of genetically modified animals, and has made it no longer mandatory to employ vets at markets; he has also refused to allow the prosecution of abattoirs that have been exposed in covert video evidence for gross cruelty and violations of the law.
Mr Cameron’s intention to try to reverse the hunting ban, despite the fact that even most Conservative voters support the ban, demonstrates clearly that he has no interest whatsoever in the principles of democracy, but is solely intent on promoting his own agenda.
Those so-called animal lovers in Witney who voted for him should hang their heads in shame.
PETER LANGLEY Windmill Road Headington Oxford
AHEAD of the imminent decision on badger culling in England, readers might ask themselves what do black cats and badgers have in common?
The answer is that both have been persecuted for what amounts to superstition and hysteria. Today we are incredulous at the idea that black cats were once accused of witchcraft and causing bad luck, but now a similarly bizarre war is being waged on the humble badger.
The idea that our wildlife holds the key to ending the TB epidemic in cattle was roundly disproved by the 10-year study by the Independent Scientific Group, which concluded that badger culling cannot meaningfully contribute to the control of bovine TB in Britain.
Yet the calls for badger blood continue unabated – and could soon become reality.
While in Wales the Government has decided to review the science, the future of English badgers lies in the balance.
Officials in Westminster are due to decide on the fate of badgers in the next few weeks – and potentially sign their death warrant. The nightmare scenario will see thousands of them caged and shot – or chased around woodland by men with guns.
However, the reason for this call to slaughter does not stand up to scrutiny and it is worth bursting a few myths about TB in cattle.
Readers might be interested to hear that TB is rarely fatal in cows, with signs of infection usually only appearing in advanced cases. However, it does lead to reduced milk yields, making it a particular concern for dairy farmers looking to maximise their profits.
Within the next few years, an oral vaccine for cattle will be available, but why isn’t as much effort being put into pursuing this non-lethal solution as is being put into the rabid call for mass badger slaughter?
The bottom line is that TB is a cattle disease and the main vector is cattle-to-cattle transmission. In fact, 13 million cattle movements are made each year in the UK. TB is spreading to new areas and badgers are blamed despite them being highly territorial and rarely straying from their patch.
In reality, the persecution of badgers has little to do with science or common sense, but has a lot to do with politicians attempting to please those voters that help keep them in power.
Readers also have to ask themselves if they want to support an industry that has declared war on our wildlife. If you don’t, then the easiest way is to not give it your money, and the best way to do that is to go vegan, or at least cut down on dairy and meat consumption.
Justin Kerswell Viva!