Animal Aid

Culling badgers 'won't control bovine TB'

Posted 3 July 2014

Computer modelling by the universities of Warwick and Cambridge has accurately reproduced the spread of bovine TB and the number of cases. Furthermore, the study, which has been published in Nature, has concluded that culling badgers will not control the disease.

The researchers found the most effective options for controlling bovine TB were to:

  1. Cull entire herds of cows when TB is present in any animal
  2. Vaccinate cows
  3. Conduct a one-off TB test for all cows in the UK at the same time

Defra has reportedly refused to accept the conclusions of this report. Farming Minister, George Eustice is quoted by the BBC as saying: ‘What this paper proposes would finish off the cattle and dairy industry in this country.’ But if the solution to the widespread illness and disease brought about by modern animal farming methods would ‘finish off’ the industry then that industry is not sustainable.

Dairy farming makes money only because of massive public subsidies and because they additionally slice margins. That often involves welfare standards being driven down and increasing pressure on cows to produce higher and higher yields. Inevitably, they become sick. Instead of raising standards, too many farmers have erroneously blamed badgers, and called for a cull. Now we know that a cull won’t work. And the options that could work, as set out by the universities, have been rejected by the government.

We are left once again with a stalemate. The only sane answer, and the solution to the suffering caused to both farmed and wild animals in the name of dairying, is to choose vegan.

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