Normally I don’t have much to do with politics. At best I look on the whole process with a sort of idle, morbid curiosity. However, I have noticed that general elections seem to coincide with politicians paying some interest to the views of the people they represent (put it this way, the last time I heard anything from my MP was during the last election. Go figure!) Perhaps there is some chance that we will be listened to at the moment. Perhaps not, but it is a good time to try.
Today, I received an e-mail from the Badger Trust. It seems that the Conservative Party has promised to carry out a cull of badgers if they are elected. The Trust has asked all of its members to contact their Conservative Party candidate to ask them to clarify their position and to request that they re-examine their policy. They have thoughtfully put together a summary of the science behind the issue if you are not sure what to write. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a copy.
I think that this is an excellent idea. I have taken the opportunity to e-mail Nadine Dorries, our MP here in Mid Bedfordshire, and I urge others to do the same to their candidates.
You very kindly offered on your website to listen to what people have to say, so I hope you can answer my question. I’m sure you’re busy at the moment, what with the election and everything, but as one of your of Mid Beds constituents this is important to me. I’m writing to ask what is the Conservative policy (and your own personal opinion) on the proposed badger cull in an effort to control bovine TB (bTB).
The thing is, I’ve spent a good few years now studying the badgers of Mid Bedfordshire. Like you, I keep a blog. Mine is about badgers (www.badgerwatcher.com). I am concerned that the Conservative Party has promised to go ahead with another badger cull if they are elected. Perhaps you could confirm or deny this?
I am obviously concerned for the welfare of our native wildlife, but I am more concerned that an ill-conceived cull will be launched against the weight of scientific evidence. A 10-year £50million taxpayer-funded research programme by the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) concluded that a badger cull would have no meaningful impact on the bTB epidemic and that on a comparatively local scale it could make matters worse (as happened when reactive culling was carried out as part of the randomised badger culling trial). bTB has continued to rise despite previous badger culls (the example from Ireland is relevant here), and at best, a badger cull would be an expensive, senseless slaughter that will do little to alleviate a problem perpetuated (if not caused) by questionable modern farming practices.
So please could you take the time to let me know whether the Conservative Party intend to go ahead with a cull, and what your personal stance on the matter is. I am sure that my readers will be interested to know.
Like I said, I rarely get involved in politics and I certainly don’t want to turn this blog into a political forum. I have no particular allegiance to any political party. Nevertheless, like most people, I’m feeling the frustration of being governed by politicians who are wholly out of touch with the views of the people they are supposed to represent and besides, this is an issue close to my heart.
I’ll keep you posted if and when I get a response.