Last night, Andrew Gwynne MP joined Labour colleagues and MPs from across the House to vote against the Government’s hugely controversial badger cull.
Lord Krebs, the foremost expert on bovine tuberculosis, claimed the proposals were a ‘crazy scheme’.
Last year alone 28,000 cattle were slaughtered in England and the Government estimates that its cost to taxpayers will reach £1 billion over the next ten years.
After 10 years work testing and researching culling the Independent Scientific Group concluded in 2007 that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.’
The scientists who undertook the ten-year Randomised Badger Cull Trial state that culling will lead to a 16% reduction in bovine Tb in cull areas after nine years. But only if culling is undertaken in the structured approach of the RBCT trial which used cage trapping and shooting of badgers. This is not the method the Government is pursuing.
Labour’s motion was defeated by 49 votes.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Labour has warned the Government for two years that the badger cull was bad for farmers, bad for taxpayers and bad for wildlife.
“We need a science-led policy to manage cattle movements better and a vaccine to tackle TB in cattle. There is no scientific basis for the cull. It may not be effective and could make matters worse.
“The Government imposed heavy discipline on the vote, and so unfortunately Labour didn’t quite manage to scrap the cull. Even so, I was proud to oppose it.”