Shooting Badgers (2)

The National Farmers’ Union has a petition about food standards:

I want the food I eat to be produced to world leading standards.

Our Government should ensure that all food eaten in the UK – whether in our homes, schools, hospitals, restaurants or from shops – is produced in a way that matches the high standards of production expected of UK farmers. Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of food security and traceability.

I believe the UK Government should seize the opportunities of ‘Global Britain’ to promote sustainable models of production and consumption across the world.

Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK and I expect the same of all food which is imported here so the food I eat is as safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards.

Before the UK begins to negotiate trade deals with countries around the world, I call on the UK Government to put into law rules that prevent food being imported to the UK which is produced in ways that would be illegal here.

I’ve been tempted to sign this petition several times because I like many farmers and I like high welfare and environmental standards. But I haven’t yet, as I’m just not sure the NFU really means it.

The NFU is the main reason we have a Badger cull – they have pressured the government into taking this line and if the NFU asked for a more humane culling programme then I can’t see DEFRA saying ‘no’.

As far as I can see, the NFU supports a cull of Badgers which does not remotely approach the animal welfare standards recommended by an expert panel six years ago. If I’ve got thast wrong then I’m sure they’ll let me know.


9 Replies to “Shooting Badgers (2)”

  1. The Agri Brigade column in the current issue of Private Eye features the NFU.

    Bio-Waste Spreader mentions NFU support for “super-dairies, (where cows are housed all year round) mega pig farms and its relentless lobbying for the use of pesticides and the growing of GM crops in the UK…”

    And so on.

    1. A series of very good reasons as to why we should not support the aims and ideas of the NFU.

    2. Marian, whatever is wrong with keeping cows in all the year.
      Large herds get so that it is too far for them to graze, the food is given to them and they have to be looked after really well or they are not productive.
      Sadly you just do not have the knowledge to be so critical.
      However I bet you are quite happy to see vast towns full of people but a farmer keeping cows indoors is a crime.
      If we are using animals to provide us with dairy products then it is at least as good as any other system.

      1. Taxpayers have been paying for the control of this disease since 1950. In addition, several charities (eg Derbyshire Wildlife Trust) have raised money, admittedly with taxpayer support, to vaccinate badgers. Not to mention the thousands of volunteer hours involved. And now you’re asking people to cough up yet more money to apply unproven and inaccurate tests.

        The current policy, other than few tweeks and the widespread systematic killing of badgers is largely unchanged since compulsory eradication began in 1950. The taxpayer and farmers have hoodwinked. It’s a money pit, it doesn’t work and it’s time for a root and branch review starting with two questions:

        1. What is the objective?
        2. Is it good value for money?

      2. So sorry for being ignorant, Dennis… but how did you know I was being critical? I was merely saying what Bio-Waste Spreader had written.

        And you are not well informed about my opinion on big towns – I actually don’t like them and was very happy living in the country in Wales, where cows were out in fields in those long lost days.

  2. Alick, you are completely wrong.
    Today’s policy is nothing like the policy of the last half of the last century also lots of people complain that the cattle test is not accurate well we were almost clear of the disease in the late 1990s so the test was doing its job then.
    Look up the number of cattle slaughtered in those years compared to now.

    1. Other than badger killing what, to your knowledge, are the differences between the eradication policy as applied between 1950 and 1975 and that applied between 2013 and the present day? You claim the test was effective in the past. What’s the difference between the two periods?

  3. Alick, you are so negative.
    Why don’t you give some solutions to the problem.
    I actually said the last half of the last century, nothing about 1975.
    One point is conservationists regularly say that the cattle test is inaccurate.
    My point is that the same test we use today is the same one that got us to very low incidence of BTB in cattle and Badgers in the very late 1990s.
    Put forward your solutions instead of just complaint about other possible solutions or is your answer to have BTB unsettle and wildlife permanently.

    1. On the contrary, if you cared to read my writing you would that I am far from negative. I am positive about:

      1. The need for animal welfare.
      2. The need for cost-effective disease control.
      3. The need for transparency and the involvement of the public in decisions theatre affect our wildlife.

      Mark has kindly provided links to all the guest blogs I have written which go into more detail:
      You can also read more on my approach to TB control here:

      and here:

      I’m interested in what you think.

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