FARMERS and residents from the Uttoxeter area have taken to the internet to express their views about the idea of culling badgers in Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
Their comments come after Doveridge farmer Graham Deville found nine of his cattle had become infected with bovine TB for the third time in four years.
Mr Deville, of Lower Street Farm, called for a badger cull and said he knew of other farmers in the area whose cattle had become infected.
He also wrote to his MP, Patrick McLoughlin, about the ‘poor price’ he has received in compensation for his lost cattle.
However, opinions expressed online appear to be split as to whether a cull would be ethical or effective.
Linda Barratt said: “There is no scientific evidence to justify culling badgers, at best up to a 16% reduction in new incidences may be achieved but over nine years.
“The new incidence rate is already steadily falling overall, down by 15% to the end of last November, compared to same period in previous year, according to DEFRA stats published this week.
“Apart from pilots, no culling had taken place so reduction can’t be attributed to removal of badgers.”
Rob Wilson echoed Ms Barratt’s sentiments. He said: “It’s funny how many ‘protected’ badgers manage to run into a gun before stumbling into the path of a vehicle on the road.
“It seems to me like farming isnt for Mr Deville. Perhaps he should get a proper job and stop holding his hands out for compensation that this country can’t afford.”
However, farmer Melanie Salmon responded by saying: “Farming is a proper job. It involves getting up at 4.30am to milk cows and calving and lambing through the nights.
“Believe me, farming is not for the work-shy - perhaps thats why you are not one.
“When a farm has been continuously shut down for six months with TB, cows are calving and you have no room for any more animals, those calves are killed within 24 hours of being born.
“Could you watch that? I have done and, yes, hardened farmer though I am, it is heartbreaking.
“Yes, it has yet to be proved 100 per cent Badgers are at fault but I’ve watched them, in packs, run up and down a feed trough, constantly urinating on the cows feed - I did not shoot them, just for clarifiaction,
“Then my farm goes down with TB.
“Badgers are incontinent. Therefore, wherever they run, they urinate, passing whatever diseases they have.”
Another farmer, Jesse Bostock, wrote into the Advertiser after reading about Mr Deville’s plight.
He said: “As fellow livestock farmers, our heart goes out to Graham. How do you plan ahead and run a business under such circumstances.
“They are throwing good money after bad yet the problem is multiplying year on year and yet everyone knows why the problem exists and what the solution is.
“In any disease or disease outbreak, the rule of thumb is that it be nipped in the bud before it takes hold and is too difficult to treat.”