AT last, a voice to government speaking out for our badgers.

A group of vets has accused Defra and its ministers of telling barefaced lies about the effectiveness of the badger cull.

They are asking for the chief vet Dr Christine Middlemas to retract the department’s claims that the badger cull is working, as it is definitely not according to scientific evidence, say these notable scientists.

They are accusing Farming Minister George Eustace of giving misleading comments in September about a report produced by Defra’s own scientists at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

It seems the government is ‘cherry picking’ their data and their claims are unfounded, scientific evidence shows clearly the badger cull has not worked.

Since the cull started, bovine TB has in fact increased in some areas in new herd breakdowns and number of affected herds.

The vets also have raised concerns that new research adds to the evidence that a skin test widely used by the department to detect the presence of TB in cattle is much less effective than claimed.

Defra states that the effectiveness “lies between 52 per cent and 100 per cent with an average of about 80 per cent sensitivity at standard interpretation”. Two new research papers indicate that the average effectiveness may be much lower between 50 per cent and 60 per cent at best.

Farmers are told their herds are TB-free but the reality is quite different.

When a short time later their cattle have TB outbreaks the farmer does not think it has come from within the herd they are looking for a scapegoat, the innocent badger who happens to live on the farm.

The TB test is currently inadequate and more accurate testing methods need to be employed (Extracts from BBC news, November 12, 2018).

Can the government now stop the badger cull and pull to account the decision makers who are responsible for around 75,000 wrongly culled badgers and all the associated persecution that the cull has generated?