July 25, 2014 Leave a comment
In amongst the emails I have received today is this:
The following response has been made to the ePetition titled “Save Rochford District’s Badgers from Culling” that you signed:
Thank you for contacting the Council in respect of this matter. Rochford District Council is committed to safeguarding animal welfare and has published a policy, our Animal Welfare Charter, that identifies the basic freedoms that we believe animals are entitled to enjoy and the steps we will take to facilitate this. It states that the Council supports the view that all animals have a right to life free from cruel treatment and unnecessary suffering. It recognises that animals are capable of feeling, capable of enjoying a state of well being and equally capable of suffering and therefore considers animals have the right to enjoy five basic freedoms: • Freedom from fear and distress. • Freedom from hunger and thirst. • Freedom from pain, disease and injury. • Freedom from unnecessary constraint. • Freedom from physical discomfort. This policy was last reviewed on10 March 2014. This Council has no intention of instigating a cull of badgers on our own land and you may be aware that the government has recent stated that it will not expand badger culling to other areas this year to reduce TB in cattle. Defra’s own independent assessment shows that culls in two pilot areas were not effective, and raised questions about their humaneness. A vaccination project is now under way by the Essex Badger Group, with initial surveys of badger setts on Essex Wildlife Trust reserves being carried out by members of the Essex Badger Groups. These surveys will inform our list of priority sites for vaccination, to start in the late summer; our initial target in the first year is to vaccinate 100 badgers before reviewing progress. This operation is expected to last five years, although an oral vaccine is currently being developed that can be scattered near setts. It is understood that as soon as this is available they will stop cage trapping and switch to this much less invasive method. It is considered that the point raised by this petition is addressed in the Council’s Animal Welfare Charter.
The petition can be viewed here.
In amongst the signatories are several names that readers of this blog will be familiar with, three of which are Southend-on-Sea Borough Councillors. It is appropriate that I give an honourable mention to Cllr Anne Chalk, who drew my attention to the petition.