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What about farmers' civil liberties?

 Added by  Keith
 19 Mar 2011, 8:41 PM

On a brief search of the internet i have discovered plenty of evidence that landowners where badgers are present often complain that their civil liberties may be breached with any culling of badgers. nowhere more so than in Wales with the impending intensive action area cull for North Pembrokeshire. However, what about the civil liberties of farmers?
Farmers right across the UK are now forced to undertake regular TB testing of their herds and frankly, my research suggests that very few actually have any confidence in:
* the need for the test
* the test methodology
* the likelihood of a measurable outcome
With such a widespread lack in confidence within and now outside the farming community that the present TB test and slaughter policy will have any positive and long lasting results we must all understand that farmers are very, very frustrated with the situation.
Farmers need therefore, to unite as one voice against the imposition of such stringent testing as Wales's 'zero tolerance policy'. But how can any farmer really voice his/her opinion when they are faced with removal of subsides or severe movement restrictions.
Clearly what is needed is a robust rebuttal of government policy in this area and a radical rethink of the whole policy. When a government has to stoop to threats of imprisonment on farmers and landowners for not towing a line that frankly nobody agrees with is not far short of autocratic behaviour which should not be tolerable in a free society.
I would like to believe that farmers love and care for the animals that are under their care and would prefer to subscribe, I would hope, to a system that does not make them out to be haters of wildlife that a badger cull is certain to imply once it starts.

We have been sent the following link www.farmersguardian.com/home/hot-topics/bovine-tb/glossop-urges-wales-to-unite-behind-tb-strategy/46394.article which relates to the badger vaccination proposals for Wales.
Our attention has been drawn to the following extract:
'The Welsh Government has no legal powers to farmers to allow vaccination on their land. Dr Glossop said some farmers in the area had made it clear they no longer wanted to attend meetings or participate in the policy.'
This seems odd bearing in mind the previous administration were able to give themselves power to enter anyone's land to shoot badgers!
At last, someone who recognises that farmers are caught up in this too. i have read so much from each side of the fence in this debate but little from common ground.
As much as I love wildlife too, the badger loving community should try not to see the farmer as the agent of terror here. Farmers are seeing their livestock and their incomes drop away in equal measure. Perhaps has keith has implied but not actually suggested, there is some room for the two sides to unite in one front against the policy makers.
There is also a third community that really is not making much headway against the policymakers either - the scientific community. I was present at a talk from a scientist from Cardiff University last year who told the audience that he nor none of his colleagues in his field were in favour of a badger cull and there was no scientific evidence anywhere in the world to support the case for a cull that would lower the incidence of TB in cull area or the surrounding zone.


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