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Livelihoods of farmers matter more than thousands of snared badgers: Minister Creed
02 December 2016

"In the order of priority, the livelihood of farmers and their herds [of beef and dairy cows] takes precedence" - Agriculture Minister Michael Creed crassly explaining why a cruel cull of thousands of supposedly protected badgers is continuing across Ireland.

Minister Creed was responding to a Dail Question from Clare Daly TD who, wearing a "Not Guilty" badger t-shirt, told him that there is no conclusive evidence that badgers are responsible for spreading TB to cattle.

During Wednesday's exchange, she highlighted the cruelty of the cull which involves the snaring and killing of around 6,000 badgers each year (an estimated 120,000 killed since 1984), with victims including nursing female badgers whose dependent cubs subsequently starve to death underground when the mothers are destroyed by Department operatives.

She went on to challenge the Minister on the length of time it is taking to replace the killing with a promised vaccination alternative.

"Rabies was eliminated from European foxes using baited vaccine many years ago," she stated. "The idea that we have been discussing a vaccine programme for badgers for 25 years is quite shocking."

She urged the Minister to "move mountains" to end the cull because the threatened badger population "doesn't have the luxury of waiting".

Bernie Barrett of Badger Watch Ireland has described how badgers suffer under the Department's snaring scheme as follows: "The method of capture is a barbaric wire snare which holds the helpless badger in excruciating pain until it is dispatched by gunshot. Thatís provided the animal has not agonisingly strangled itself beforehand."

According to the Irish Wildlife Trust, "badgers can die over extended periods struggling in these hideous devices while their young starve underground. Not only is it barbaric and unethical, recent findings have shown it to be ineffective in the war on bovine TB. Nobody has ever counted badgers accurately in this country and while it has always been assumed that they are common animals, this can no longer be taken for granted."


Sign our petition
Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Please appeal to the Agriculture Minister to show compassion and suspend the cruel badger snaring scheme. Remind the Minister that the badger is a protected species in Ireland and that the Animal Health and Welfare Act, for which he is responsible, clearly states: "A person shall not do, or fail to do, anything or cause or permit anything to be done to an animal that causes unnecessary suffering to, or endanger the health or welfare of, an animal". Tell him that research has shown that "badger culling apparently has the capacity to increase badger-to-badger transmission of infection, potentially undermining anticipated reductions in badger-to-cattle transmission."

Minister Michael Creed
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
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Tweet to: @creedcnw

Please write to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Remind them that the Wildlife Act, for which they are responsible, lists the badger as a protected species. Demand that they stop licensing the snaring and killing of thousands of badgers as part of a cruel and discredited TB eradication scheme.

Minister Heather Humphreys
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
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Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG

Director, Licensing Unit
National Parks and Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1-888 3214

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