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RSPCA No Longer Responsible Organisation Says NFU

14 November 2012
National Farmers Union

UK - The National Farmers Union (NFU) has reacted to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) comments made by Chief Executive Gavin Grant on BBC's Panorama programme last night.

During the half hour programme Badgers: Dodging the bullet? Mr Grant said: “The spotlight of attention will be turned on those marksmen and on those who give permission for this cull to take place. They will be named and we will decide as citizens of this country whether they will be shamed”

Speaking in October, Mr Grant thanked the members of the public who had campaigned against the cull. He stated the RSPCA was thankful of a reprieve in cull plans. Mr Grant said that the stance the RSPCA has taken against the cull is for the all round benefit of badgers, cows, dairy farmers and rural communities alike and is well reasoned and objective.

His remarks made on Panorama however have caused NFU Director of Policy, Martin Haworth, to describe the RSPCA as a no longer responsible organisation.

“With these comments the RSPCA’s Chief Executive Gavin Grant has overstepped the mark and in doing so confirmed our worst fears that the RSPCA is no longer a responsible organisation with animal welfare at its core."

Responding to the calls to name and shame people involved in the cull process Mr Haworth added, “Mr Grant has actively encouraged people to identify farmers and those carrying out the badger cull pilots next year without a thought for their safety, their family’s safety or the security of their homes. This is tantamount to inciting a campaign of fear and intimidation which I find wholly unacceptable and completely irresponsible."

Mr Haworth, added that the RSPCA has failed to come up with a single workable solution to tuberculosis. He stated a badger vaccination programme in isolation won't solve the TB crisis and a cattle vaccine is still years away.

“This is not just a badger welfare issue; 34,000 cattle were slaughtered because of TB in Great Britain in 2011. Rather than encouraging the targeting of farmers, the RSPCA would do better to focus its efforts on animal welfare across the board," urged Mr Haworth.

“I am extremely disappointed with the RPSCA’s approach, as expressed by its Chief Executive, to tackling what is one of the most serious issues affecting our beef and dairy herds today.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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