Posted: Tuesday 30th June 2020
Derbyshire Against the Cull
By Email: 25.06.2020
Dear Derbyshire Against the Cull
Thank you for your recent open letter regarding the current Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation ‘Bovine TB: consultation on proposals to manage the delivery of both badger vaccination and culling in Edge counties’. This is the first I have heard about this consultation and I can confirm that I have provided a response, though the short timeframe involved has meant this has been a little more rushed than I would have liked.
I am on record as saying that I can see no grounds, either scientifically or economically, to cull badgers when Derbyshire is at the forefront of the vaccination programme. It seems somewhat nonsensical to me to pilot the use of a vaccination programme and potentially affect the results of this trial by introducing a cull. How will it be possible to produce evidence that the vaccination approach works, or doesn’t, if a key parameter is changed? My view is that we need to follow the science to understand how best to prevent Bovine TB, protect the livelihoods of our farming communities and prevent the potentially unnecessary cull of badgers. To that end my stance remains the same in that I will continue to urge the Government to reconsider its position and to continue to invest in the vaccination programme in this county, and beyond, to protect what remains a threatened species for future generations.
You raise the issue of enforcement in your letter and clearly this is an operational issue and something for the Chief Constable to consider. I can confirm that the Chief Constable and I have had discussions about this. The Police Service will need to engage with DEFRA to understand what is being proposed and develop a strategy for policing this based on those conversations. I am aware that this is a very divisive issue and policing will need to be without fear or favour – allowing people to be able to go about their lawful business and protecting the rights of those who may wish to peacefully protest against that activity. Derbyshire has a good track record in this respect and I am confident that the police’s local response will be fair andproportionate.
Once again thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.
Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire