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Consultation Questions and Answers

Bovine TB and Badgers Consultation
Consultation Questions and Answers


Yes - Removal of all possible reservoirs of infection, and subsequent control of remaining badger numbers is essential. As soon as possible.

  • Individual licensing of Badger Managers drawn from existing specialist organisations, who would negotiate costs.  Payments should be made on completion of record keeping, which would include monitoring of numbers killed,  recovery of carcasses,  health reports, and population estimates.
  • Full use of existing powers under the Badgers Act 1992 to grant licenses to qualified specialist Badger Managers.
  • Best practice management of the badger species nationally under the supervision of Badger Manager organisation, together with a regulatory body with strict rules.
  • Badger Managers would operate with the permission of farmers, however, compulsory powers would be required under disease control regulations to remove diseased animals, or control numbers, where permission could not be obtained to enter property and carry out appropriate control or inspection.
  • At the discretion of the Badger Managers.
  • It would be the case of the farmers giving permission to specialist Badger Managers – If they were to be involved in the cull, they should meet the qualifications set by the Badger Manager organisation.
  • Cooperation with neighbours would be an essential requirement, with compulsory powers in place to assist if objections were made to culling plans.
  • In the past national coverage of badger control was an accepted countryside management task. Problems have arisen with the uncontrolled increase in the badger population.
  • As this is a wildlife management problem, as opposed to a farming problem, it would be up to the Badger Managers organisation to chose the range of humane methods considered appropriate for the task in hand. The use of the Welfare Equation would simplify decision making and gaining public acceptance.  Digging is by far the most humane option.
  • Gassing is only appropriate for use by specialist Badger Managers, when other methods are considered impractical.
  • Individual licensing would be tied to the skills of the Badger Manager. Training would be provided by the Badger Manager organisation with the assistance and direction of the Regulatory body.
  • Defra would provide contact with Badger Manager organisation in order that high standards of training were achieved, and in order that knowledge of these high standards was communicated to the public.
  • Shooting of free running badgers as the proven least humane option, would only be authorised in exceptional circumstances by licensed Badger Managers.
  • As the proven second least humane option the use of snares and their design should only be considered by licensed Badger Managers as one of the tools for the job in hand.
  • No more than ten hours, less if possible.
  • Skills and competencies of the professional gamekeeper working with the Badger Managers would provide a workable partnership.
  • Training is essential with a class 5 basic qualification as a starting point and the passing of four subsequent qualification classes to qualify as a master craftsmen – see Quality Shooting Initiative in Home Office submission.
  • Through the key wildlife manager organisations with national standards and supervision.
  • Carcass collection in plastic bags would be essential to avoid other species ingesting diseased tissue or bacteria.  Incineration of carcasses which did not meet health standards, and sale for game meat of healthy animals.  Dual use of cold store and other deer stalking facilities would be highly advantageous. All susceptible mammals, birds and game could be monitored by this group of wildlife managers.
  • Existing organisations with years of knowledge and experience of badger habitats, behaviour and humane dispatch, are well placed to provide invaluable information on a wide range of factors, some of which are mentioned in this section.

  • What is required above all is confidence, support and legislation, which would allow Badger Managers to go about their crucial work without being molested by animal rights activists. Defra staff conducting the Krebbs trial experienced such difficulties. Many of these specialists would provide an invaluable working partnership and specialist role in bringing about a satisfactory conclusion to the implementation of disease control, and subsequent establishment of best management practices.

    Edmund Marriage – 10th March 2006



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