Molly has echoed criticisms by a group of vets who have accused the government of “barefaced lies” over the effectiveness of badger culls in the South West. She accused the government of ‘resorting to a shameless PR exercise of false information because the evidence doesn’t stack up’.
In September, Defra claimed figures showed a reduction of TB cases in cull areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire. However, the report cited by Defra, concluded that the data “cannot demonstrate whether the badger control policy is effective in reducing bovine TB in cattle”. There has also been an increase in instances of TB in a cull area in Dorset.
Responding, Dr Scott Cato, who sits on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee and is MEP for the cull zones, said:
“The government are resorting to a shameless PR exercise of false information because the evidence from this cruel and ineffective cull doesn’t stack up.
“Massaging figures and cherry-picking evidence serves no one. It fails the farmers who are so deeply affected by bovine TB, it upsets the many people who are devoted to one of our iconic species, and of course inflicts terrible suffering on badgers themselves.
“Greens have always said that we need effective and scientifically grounded policy to deal with this terrible disease. We need to see tighter controls on cattle movement, strict biosecurity measures and the roll out of a vaccination programme for both badgers and cows.”