Forum Message

Topic: Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs
Posted by: Claire Moran
Date/Time: 23/05/15 23:25:00

Here you go, John.  Although the initial response was slow (it would have been good just to have at least an acknowledgement of receipt, which is not difficult to set up) she has replied in quite some detail, as you will see below, which in my book is full marks to her.

Dear Claire,

Thank you for your email. Please bear with me as I get systems up and running. I have as yet no staff or been allocated an office so this is me replying.

You contacted me specifically about the Government’s policy of supporting the culling of badgers to address the issue of bovine TB.In the Labour 2015 manifesto we said (on page 57)  “we will build on our strong record on animal welfare - starting with an end to the Government’s ineffective and cruel badger cull.’

There is cross-party agreement on the need to eradicate bovine TB, not least because this disease led to 24,618 cattle being compulsorily slaughtered in Great Britain between January and September alone last year. However, the Labour Party does not agree with the Government that the solution to this issue is simply the mass culling of badgers. The evidence does not support the Government’s policy and it is clear that Ministers have repeatedly chosen to ignore the independent scientific advice they have received.

As Labour repeatedly warned would be the case, the trial badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset failed. Prior to the start of the trials, the Government stated that “it would be wrong to go ahead if those on the ground cannot be confident of removing at least 70 per cent of the populations” and “the killing/taking of badgers must be limited to a six-week cull period specified in each licence.” However, as it became clear that the trials were not succeeding, Ministers wrongly backed extensions beyond the six-week limit and revised downwards the target reduction in the badger population within each trial area. Therefore, contrary to Owen Paterson’s ridiculous claim that “the badgers moved the goalposts” it was in fact the former Secretary of State who repeatedly did so. Even after the culls were extended, the badger population in the Gloucestershire trial was only reduced by an estimated 65 per cent, while the trial in Somerset achieved a population reduction of just 39 per cent at the time it was abandoned. The Government has also been forced to admit that only 24 per cent of the badgers killed were by controlled shooting, which was precisely the method that the pilots were supposed to be testing. It is estimated that these failed culls may have cost as much as £7 million to date, equivalent to more than £4,000 per badger killed. Most worryingly, leading independent scientists have warned that the decision to extend the cull and the failure to cull 70 per cent of the badger population may have increased the spread of bovine TB as a result of perturbation.

In April the Independent Expert Panel reported that the trial culls had failed the test for ‘humaneness’, as well as ‘effectiveness’. This was despite Defra restricting the scope of the report to only cover “the initial cull period, not the extensions”. Yet the Government’s reaction to this damning verdict of their policy has been to continue with the Gloucestershire and Somerset culls regardless. The Government have also announced they will not allow independent expert scrutiny for the remainder of the Gloucestershire and Somerset culls. It is shocking that Ministers are more interested in putting personal prejudice at the heart of their policy-making than following scientific evidence.

Since the end of the trials, Ministers have also revealed that there has been over-reporting of the incidence of TB in herds under restriction and the incidence rate of bovine TB since September 2011. The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories has stated that this is likely to result in the “significant downwards revision” of the data. This is an appalling development considering the fact that these statistics have been a crucial part of the Government’s case for proceeding with the culling of badgers. Even before this revelation, it is clear that the Government has repeatedly over-played the extent to which badgers are responsible for spreading TB across England. Recent research by Prof. Christl Donnelly showed that herd-to-herd transmission of bovine TB in cattle accounts for 94 per cent of cases, while around 6 per cent of infected cattle catch TB directly from badgers. This research backs up the evidence from the Randomised Badger Cull Trial funded by Labour when in government which identified cattle transmission as playing a significant role in the spread of Bovine TB.

Labour has repeatedly called on the Government to abandon their failed policy. I am clear that to press ahead with further culls is not only unscientific, but irresponsible and reckless. On 13 March MPs were given a chance to debate the culls in parliament, and voted 219-1 against the Government’s policy. I have said that the Secretary of State should listen to the House rather than continuing this failed cull. However, as Elizabeth Truss has committed to continuing with these culls, the least she should be doing is allowing independent expert oversight. The Independent Expert Panel should be allowed to provide a full, accurate and independent assessment of the trials and advise on the way forward. Finally, the Government should also reveal all the details of the cost to the taxpayer of this disastrous policy, including the costs of extending the trials.

As I have said, we do need a serious strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but it has got to be based on the science. It is time to restore evidence-based policy making to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and I intend to do so if Labour wins the next election. All the evidence and expert advice that I have seen suggests that the most effective strategy will need to focus on enhanced measures to address herd to herd transmission, including compulsory post-movement testing, a comprehensive risk-based trading system, and more robust bio-security on farms, as well as badger vaccination. If elected, Labour will work with farmers, wildlife groups and leading scientists to develop this alternative strategy to eradicate bovine TB, including tackling TB in badgers.

On the hunting ban we will strenuously oppose any attempt by this Government to repeal the Hunting Act, which was on the Labour government's proudest acheivements. Rest assured I find all bloodsports immoral and repugnant.

My apologies that you did not get an autoreply acknwoledgement. I will investigate why this is the case.

Yours sincerely,

Rupa Huq MP

Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 at 4:36 PM
Subject: I oppose the badger cull and support the Hunting Act

Dear Ms Rupa Huq,

Congratulations on your election as my MP.

I would like you to know that I am opposed to both the badger cull and repeal of the Hunting Act.

Many thousands of healthy badgers have been killed over the last two years in pilot culls deemed ineffective and inhumane by experts. It must be stopped.

The Hunting Act has spared thousands of foxes, hares and deer from terror and pain, all in the name of ‘sport’. It must be kept in place.

Can I count on you to do all you can to stop the misguided badger cull and ensure that the Hunting Act is not repealed? Please stand up for our wildlife.

I look forward to hearing your views on these important animal welfare issues.


Claire Moran

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 19:44:00 Claire Moran
   Re:Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 19:56:00 Phil Kay
      Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 20:11:00 Claire Moran
         Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs24/05/15 09:25:00 John Southey
   Re:Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 19:57:00 Loraine Pemberton
      Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 22:50:00 S Powell
   Re:Hunting with Dogs22/05/15 23:30:00 Rupa Huq
      Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 00:56:00 Claire Moran
         Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 01:26:00 John Martin
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 06:52:00 Loraine Pemberton
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 06:53:00 Rob Reynolds
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 07:54:00 Dan Murphy
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 09:32:00 Will Watson
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 09:35:00 Will Watson
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 09:41:00 Dan Murphy
                     Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 10:59:00 John Whitworth
                        Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 13:35:00 Dan Murphy
                           Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 13:54:00 John Whitworth
                              Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 14:03:00 Dan Murphy
                                 Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 14:18:00 Dan Murphy
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 19:50:00 Loraine Pemberton
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 08:57:00 Richard Greenhough
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 16:39:00 Claire Moran
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 19:37:00 John Martin
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 20:16:00 Richard Greenhough
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs23/05/15 23:25:00 Claire Moran
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs24/05/15 08:57:00 Viv Griffiths
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs24/05/15 09:17:00 David Grantley
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs24/05/15 20:07:00 John Martin
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs24/05/15 21:12:00 bobby osborne
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 09:29:00 David. Sindall
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 09:55:00 Viv Griffiths
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 09:58:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 11:43:00 Claire Moran
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 11:51:00 Claire Moran
                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 14:14:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 15:36:00 Carl Wynne
                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 16:00:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 17:33:00 Carl Wynne
                                                            Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:07:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:33:00 Viv Griffiths
                                                                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:44:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                            Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:32:00 Robert Fish
                                                               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:41:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:44:00 Robert Fish
                                                                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:45:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 18:55:00 Carl Wynne
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 19:24:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 19:37:00 Carl Wynne
                                                                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 19:48:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 22:34:00 bobby osborne
                                                                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 22:58:00 Carl Wynne
                                                                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 23:24:00 bobby osborne
                                                                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs25/05/15 23:41:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs26/05/15 00:03:00 bobby osborne
                                                                                                   Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs26/05/15 00:16:00 Loraine Pemberton
                                                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs26/05/15 00:46:00 bobby osborne
                                                                                                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs26/05/15 08:59:00 Richard Greenhough
                                                                                                            Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs27/05/15 14:26:00 Claire Moran
                                                                                                               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Hunting with Dogs27/05/15 14:28:00 Claire Moran

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