Just when we thought that the Tories were so preoccupied with Brexit that the rest of public policy was safe for the time being from their disastrous world-view, the Farming Minister, George Eustace slipped out a written statement on the last day of the Parliamentary term announcing that he is going to extent the inhumane and failing badger cull to low risk areas.
As the Mirror reports, not only is the shooting of badgers by so-called sharp shooters cruel and random, (a large number are not killed cleanly and die an agonising death) but the vast majority of those killed are free of TB.
Furthermore the cull is contrary to scientific evidence, which suggests that driving badgers out of their familiar areas might actually spread bTB. There is evidence that the disease is in the soil and can be passed from cattle to badgers as well as vice versa.
The only logical way to deal with this disease is to properly control it amongst the herds of cattle, whilst targeting those other animals that might reinvest the herd through testing and vaccination. Unfortunately, trigger-happy Tories believe this to be too expensive and instead prefer to spend vast sums of public money on a method that is simply not working just to placate the farming lobby.
Whatever happened to evidence based policy? Or indeed to MIchael Gove’s pledge to review the scientific basis for the cull? Presumably Ministers are too busy with Brexit.