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A new book on the need for wildlife management

A new book The Facts of Rural Life on the need for better wildlife management was launched on June 23 at Westminster to a select group of politicians, journalists and wild life experts. The book was warmly endorsed in a short address by Sir Nicholas Soames MP and Kate Hoey MP and the author Charlie Pye-Smith expressed his thanks to all the people countrywide who contributed their expertise to the book.

Download the flyer and order form for more information

There is scarcely an acre of Britain which is truly wild. Farming, forestry, hunting, water extraction and urbanisation have all had a profound effect on our flora and fauna. Top predators such as brown bear, lynx and wolf have been lost and as a result many of their prey species no longer have any natural enemies. At the same time, other species have been introduced, frequently with disastrous consequences for livestock, crops and our native wildlife. Think, for example, of grey squirrel, mink, muntjac deer, rabbits and rats.

This prompts a fundamental question: who is responsible for managing wildlife?  Some people maintain that everything should be left to nature. But if that were to happen, many species would become increasingly rare, or even extinct.  Others – and The Facts of Rural Life makes the case - believe human beings, having so profoundly altered the environment, must take full responsibility for managing wildlife.

Charlie Pye-Smith's new book makes the case for the need for better wildlife management. It draws on extensive research in the field and interviews with scientists, farmers, conservationists, vets, gamekeepers, huntsmen and others involved in the study and management of wildlife, and it addresses many of the crucial conservation controversies of our time. It also exposes the consequences of ill-thought through legislation.

The Facts of Rural Life provides a valuable resource for politicians, the media and anyone genuinely concerned about conservation, animal welfare and the future of Britain's countryside.

The scientific basis for the Badger BCG vaccine is questionable

A recent critical assessment of the scientific basis for the Badger BCG vaccine reveals serious shortcomings.

Although the vaccine has been shown to provide some protection against experimental challenge it fails to protect against infection and all vaccinated animals shed M.bovis post challenge. Furthermore it has no proven efficacy against bovine TB in the field. The likelihood therefore of the vaccine giving protection in the face of the massive infection out there in the badger population is therefore highly improbable. For more information please see our letter to the AHVLA questioning the efficacy and safety of the Badger BCG vaccine (2014b).

The case for culling badgers to control bovine TB is irrefutable

The disease was almost eradicated in the 1980s by a combined strategy of tuberculin testing of cattle and culling of badgers. But following the Zuckerman report of 1980 culling was scaled down and entirely abandoned following the Krebs report in 1997 by the in coming Labour Government. Since when, as may be seen from the chart below, the disease has escalated out of control:


Incidence of TB reactors in cattle


Clearly it won't be controlled by killing more and more cattle as recommended by the so called Independent Scientific Group! Nor is it likely to be controlled by vaccination (see above)

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The Quarry Species