Liz Truss threatens a badger with a garden fork at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/
Truss - the badgers must die!
17th July 2014
The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss flunked her first 'Green test' today as she told Parliament that the badger cull goes on. We run this excerpt from the Parliamentary record in which she states 'We are progressing with our programme!'
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood) (Lab):
I congratulate the Secretary of State on her promotion and welcome her to her new job. However, I am appalled to hear the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice), confirm that she is going to continue with the discredited, unscientific, inhumane and ineffective badger cull.
Is she aware that Professor David Macdonald, the chief scientific adviser to Natural England, which will have to license the culls, has described them as an "epic failure", adding:
"It is hard to see how continuing this approach could be justified"?
Will she at least undertake to ask the independent expert panel which reported on the safety, humaneness and effectiveness of year 1 of the cull to report on year 2?
I thank the hon. Lady for her congratulations. Let us be absolutely clear: the reality is that bovine TB represents a massive threat to our dairy and beef industries. We are looking at the potential loss of over £1 billion of economic growth in our country. We need to look at the best scientific evidence.
I have already spoken with the Department's scientific adviser about this precise subject. We are progressing with our programme, as my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State outlined.
That was a disappointing reply. I am afraid that the Secretary of State has just flunked her first test and missed a golden opportunity to put scientific evidence back where it ought to be in DEFRA - at the very centre of decision making.
I would be grateful if she answered this question: will she now give an undertaking to ask the IEP to report on year 2 of the culls, as it did on year 1 - yes or no?
Let us be absolutely clear: we are asking Natural England, which is a proper expert body, to assess how the culls are going and look at what we can do in future. We must use every tool in our toolbox to address this threat to our beef and dairy industries.
See the full Parliamentary report in Hansard.
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