A local resident has condemned a badger cull that is currently being carried out in the Ballintra area as being ‘inhumane, barbaric and ineffective’.
Jane Brown told the Donegal Democrat that the restraining snares used to capture the badgers have been outlawed in all but five EU countries on the basis that they are inhumane. She believes the British approach, of using cages rather than snares, should be adopted. She also challenged the logic of culling badgers “when other animals, such as rats, deer and foxes are known to spread TB”. Ms Brown accused the Dept. of Agriculture of having a policy of seeking to completely eradicate badgers. She said she wanted other people “to research the issue for themselves and make up their own minds up” about whether it should be allowed to continue.
John Barron of the Irish Cattle and Sheepfarmers’ Association said his organisation fully supports the Department’s culling strategy. “It’s been shown to work” he said. He also pointed out that other measures, such as dealer registration, animal testing and the tracing of animal movements, have all helped to dramatically reduce the levels of bovine TB in recent years. He noted that nearly half the badgers culled were found to have TB.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said the strategy in relation to badgers had been developed as the result of extensive Irish research. A vaccination programme is currently being piloted but the results will not be known for 3-4 years and it will not be possible to roll out such a programme until after that.
READ MORE IN THURSDAY’S DONEGAL DEMOCRAT.