Login Register

Pressure grows to use gas for cull

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 26, 2013

Comments (8)

PRESSURE is growing for the gassing of badgers to be adopted as a more effective way of reducing bovine TB.

Jan Rowe, director of Gloscon, the company set up to run the pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire, is urging Defra to speed up research into gassing using carbon monoxide.

This is seen by many as and admission that shooting – the culling method tested in Somerset and Gloucestershire – is not going to work. In both cull zones, the number of badgers killed fell well short of the numbers planned.

Defra has confirmed that it has commissioned research into the use of gas as part of its 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB.

It said it was also looking at developing "badger contraception, badger and cattle vaccines, tighter cattle movement controls and badger culling".

The call for gassing echoes that made by farmer and property developer Derek Mead earlier this year. He has set up the Badger Welfare Association to campaign for the use of gassing to eradicate TB-infected badgers – and insists there is nothing sarcastic about the group's name.

"We are genuinely concerned about the welfare of healthy badgers and we don't want to see them killed – as has been happening with the two pilot culls," he said.

"Our aim has always been to establish a population of healthy badgers, which farmers would be quite happy to live with. But, in order to do that, we have to remove the diseased ones.

"We have enough expertise to be able to identify setts with diseased badgers so that gas can be used to kill them quickly and painlessly."

Previous trials were halted after tests revealed that gas was not penetrating all the chambers.

But Mr Mead said: "They were only using a lawnmower engine, which was never going to be powerful enough.

"We have told Defra we would be happy to carry out our own, properly monitored trials across an area of Devon or Cornwall.

"This would be relatively easy to organise because, once we had identified the target setts, farmers could do the rest themselves."

Gassing badgers using cyanide gas was outlawed in 1982 on the grounds that it was inhumane.

Since then, carbon monoxide has been considered to be a more effective alternative, although anyone currently interfering with a badger sett would be committing an offence under the Badger Act.

NFU president Peter Kendall has already called for a widening of the methods under consideration for culling badgers.

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

8 comments

  • Clued-Up  |  December 30 2013, 7:03PM

    "Pressure is growing for the gassing of badgers"... I'd like to find out WHO'S responsible for pushing this bit of fact-free special pleading (also why the editor of this newspaper couldn't find ANYTHING better to fill it). I'm assuming the guilty party works for the NFU or GlosCon but it would be nice to know which of the two allegedly separate organisations formally takes responsibility for pieces like these.

    Rate   3
    Report
  • Clued-Up  |  December 30 2013, 6:59PM

    "Pressure is growing for the gassing of badgers"... I'd like to find out WHO'S responsible for pushing this bit of fact-free special pleading (also why the editor of this newspaper couldn't find ANYTHING better to fill it - even a few tired Christmassy jokes would be a better use of the space ). I'm assuming the guilty party works for the NFU or GlosCon but it would be nice to know which of the two allegedly separate organisations formally takes responsibility for pieces like these.

    Rate   3
    Report
  • Mikethepike  |  December 30 2013, 5:59PM

    Derek Mead has the affrontery to call his ramshackle collection of pro-cullers the Badger Welfare Association while seeking permission to subject them--and any other animal inside a targetted sett--to a cruel death. His claim to be able to detect "infected setts" is sheer bunkum and it's time the police took action, warning off him and any farmer stupid enough to be associated with his wild claims. As for Jan Rowe he, too, should be ashamed, as should Kendall. Both have been party to a vile utterly discredited failed cull and both have resisted for years the measures which will eventually bring bTB under control. The constantly failing skin test is responsible for much of the TB spread in the UK as one look at the numbers of diseased cattle diagnosed only at the slaughterhouse stage. Thousands of them every year, and all supposedly TB-free. The failure of the skin test, Defra's refusal to enforce biosecurity on every farm producing reactors (and therefore taxpayer funded compensation) and the continuing stupidity of the farming industry buying "blind"--not caring whether the cattle have come from farms with a recurring TB problem--all contribute to the bTB mess. Farmers, the farming unions, Defra and of course "The Badgers moved the Goalposts" Paterson are all to blame for this drawn out shambles. Badgers are not, and never have been the major cause of the TB epidemic.

    Rate   5
    Report
  • barney2  |  December 29 2013, 12:26PM

    Cannot believe that so called civilised human beings are considering this. It would be better to cull these semi-humans the world would be a better place without them.

    Rate   5
    Report
  • Jonny2010  |  December 28 2013, 11:19PM

    So... if we GAS and EXTERMINATE all the badgers... what if bovine TB still exists? Who will be exterminated next?

    Rate   6
    Report
  • inyourdreams  |  December 27 2013, 4:52PM

    And we all know how property developers love badgers

    Rate   14
    Report
  • emurfitt  |  December 26 2013, 11:44AM

    'Jan Rowe, director of Gloscon, the company set up to run the pilot badger cull in Gouscestershire, is urging Defra to speed up research into gassing using carbon monoxide.' Let us not forget that the badgers, or other animals, used in this 'research' will suffer long, painful, lingering deaths. Laboratory animals suffer horribly - that is why vivisection is done in secret. In this case, the ultimate object is to exterminate entire sets of wild, and mostly healthy, badgers as efficiently and cheaply as possible. The entire exercise is monstrous. A better way is to leave the animals alone and reform the beef industry. Cattle suffer horribly to provide human beings with beef and dairy products. None of it is necessary for human survival. It is time to put the environment first and reform our own lifestyles.

    Rate   21
    Report
  • grannyonline1  |  December 26 2013, 11:43AM

    Judging by the way Gloscon has run the badger cull shooting fiasco, would YOU trust them use gas??Or run anything, except,away???

    Rate   21
    Report

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES

       
       
       

      MOST POPULAR