“Dr Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (SNP)
He is highlighting some alleged facts in relation to the engagement that badgers have with cattle. I would like to suggest that there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate that view whatsoever.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)
I simply say to the hon. Gentleman, who is an intelligent chap, that every bit of logic points to the fact that there must be a link. If badgers have TB and cattle have TB—I do not think this island is alone; this takes place in the rest of the world —any scientific hypothesis would assume there is a link. It is not credible for him to suggest otherwise.” https://goo.gl/QNjbae
“Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)
I commend my hon. Friend for putting some of the facts about wildlife on the record. He is right about the reduction in some of our bird and mammal species, such as the hedgehog.
Dr Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (SNP)
Will the hon. Gentleman be kind enough to cite the source of the evidence he just supported?
Well, the source is evident to any countryman out there. There has been a rapid decline in hedgehogs, and we know perfectly well that badgers eat hedgehogs’ young, wild birds and birds’ nests. That, however, is not the subject of the debate, and I do not want to get drawn on that red herring.” https://goo.gl/LYqGfR
Herring and hedgehogs should not be confused, although both are threatened most from the actions of…humans. However herring are considered the most sustainable fish to eat.
Rather than spell out the evident source of these wildlife facts, the sort of ‘countrymen out there’ referred to by Mr Clifton-Brown seem rather busy damming, diverting or dredging all evident sources.
“Does he agree that those who oppose the cull look at the badger as a friendly, lovable animal, which in effect it is not? Factually, the badger is responsible for destroying bee hives, hedgehogs and ground-nesting birds such as skylarks, grey partridges and meadow pipits. [Interruption.] That is true. It is also responsible for the loss of wood warblers, nightingales and stone curlews. Those are facts. The badger is a danger, and like all wild animals that have no natural predator—just like deer and foxes—it should be culled, so that numbers are maintained.” Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con) https://goo.gl/N7Uwim
Just out of curiosity, what is the motivation for culling badgers? Obviously scientific and economic justifications are long since debunked, so is it simply to mollify the ‘shoot the scapegoat’ brigade? Is it time to wean them off the infected badger sputum?