Cllr Cadogan Enright has welcomed the news that Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has decided not to proceed with a badger cull in County Down. Many environmental organisations have been supported by prominent local farmers in disputing the advice being given to the Minister that a badger cull would do anything to influence bovine TB in cattle.
Cadogan Enright said “The Minister has confirmed last week that the proposed study on 350 farms in County Down into the causes of the spread of TB will not involve any intervention with the Badger population. The incidence of TB in cattle in Northern Ireland has shown a steady decrease in recent years and if we follow the practice in Scotland we could find ourselves declared TB free within a few years by simply following the sort of common-sense biological controls on farms recommended by the Northern Ireland Audit Office. In their detailed study on TB in cattle in N. Ireland last year the Audit Office found that the main causes are related to poor animal management and movement control – not wildlife! Competent local farmers like UUP MLA John McAlister have agreed with us on this matter. John put questions to the Minister on our behalf.”
“To be fair to the Minister, she was already beginning to question the need for a cull even before the report in February of this year by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London and Institute of Zoology London, has found that Badger Culling is not an effective way of combating T.B. ” said Barbara Haig.
Strangford activist Barbara Haig said “Clearly the finding by the High Court in Wales last month that the proposed badger cull in Wales was illegal under multiple legal headings has finally put a line under the protected status of the Badger in the UK – the Welsh First Minister was even admonished for wasting tax payers money in appealing the earlier decision by the lower courts to stop the badger cull.”
“The multi-year contract and license to cull badgers in the Republic of Ireland is coming up for review in March, and I believe that the Green Party Ministers currently in power in the South will now have sufficient evidence to stop culling in the Republic. Locals feel it should commend local UUP leader Councillor Burgess (also a farmer) as well as MLA John McAlister for ‘sticking with the science’ and abjuring the knee-jerk reaction of DUP spokespersons on this issue who were not even involved in farming” concluded  Cllr Cadogan Enright

Press Cuttings – Councillor welcomes axe on Co Down badger cull