Shock news, Labour to end badger culling (if) when elected next year , since culls are actually meaningless and unlawful ! ( Daniel Zeichner , Guardian 17 October).

Badgers have been wrongly and absurdly blamed , for being the main cause of the spread of CATTLE / Bovine TB since the 1970s. With various culling and vaccination schemes ever since. But culling towards 400,000 badgers in England and Eire, has had nil effect in stopping the spread of cattle TB within the cattle population back to countrywide. Badgers have never actually been the cause of new herd breakdowns, because Cattle TB is a respiratory lung disease. And no-one in 50 years has explained how cows might catch broncho-pneumonial TB from badgers ! By contrast, badgers are almost bound to catch TB from cows, turning over cow pats for worms and beetles.

Wales scrapped widespread badger culls in 2009. And re-launched Area Eradication and annual testing. This has since halved cattle TB, without any badger culls !

DEFRA guidance to Natural England is based on a very selective interpretation of the Godfray 2018 report. In the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, 1998-2005, there was no self-sustaining reservoir of TB across the 100 culling areas. The few and only TB badgers occurred as a dead-end spillover, just 1515 out of 11,000, culled. from 1900 ie. 1 per So the halving of cattle TB cannot have been due to a full 4 -year badger cull. Two years after the cull ended, in 2007, this halving was simply normal cattle testing controls. So badger culls simply don't work !

SO , a great pity Labour were unable to persuade Theresa Coffey, to call off the cull last year of up to 68,000 badgers from 72 areas, across 21 counties, from c. 30,000 Only finding c 1 TB badger per 5-6

Also, the current cull since 7th September of 50,847 badgers, 58 areas, 21 counties, across 30,000 Again c. 1 TB badger per 3-4 Obviously utterly meaningless and unlawful, so should never have been authorised in the first place! Areas / Max Number County :- Avon 2, 1820, Berks 1 501, Bucks 1 1405, Cheshire 1 938, Cornwall 6 5746, Cumbria vaccination, Derby 2 1876, Devon 11 7836 but only 2 over 1000, Glos 3 2352, Hants 2 1240,Heref. 3 2230, Leics 1 100, Lincs N/A, Northants 1 1658, Oxon 3 1834, Shrops 3 5653, Somerset 3 3651, Staffs 3 3949, Warks 3 3567, Wilts 3 3902, Worcs 1 351.,

Martin Hancox, MA Oxon ex-govmt TB Panel,