A vote on the badger cull - following the two pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset will be preceded by a demonstration outside Parliament
There were vital wins for Yeovil Town and both Bristol clubs today. Cheltenham drew at Portsmouth, but Swindon lost at home to MK Dons.
A young woman from Yeovil in Somerset has been given an award by the British Heart Foundation for her health campaigning efforts.
Two reports have been released today - both criticising the effectiveness and humaneness of the recent badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The first independent study was commissioned by the government itself.
The second comes as a result of information obtained by cull monitors, who found that many badgers weren't shot cleanly or quickly.
– A DEFRA spokesperson
The Independent Expert Panel has not submitted its report to ministers and the report has not been published. We knew there’d be lessons to be learned from the first year of the pilot culls which is why we’re looking forward to receiving the panel’s recommendations for improving the way they are carried out, because we need to do all we can to tackle this devastating disease.
– Robin Hargreaves, President of the British Veterinary Association
It is important to remember that these culls were pilots precisely because the Government needed to test the humaneness, safety and efficacy of controlled shooting as a method of culling badgers. [...] We are unable to comment in detail on the findings of the IEP until we have seen the report [...] but, if these figures are true, then they would certainly raise concerns about both the humaneness and efficacy of controlled shooting. [...] We have always stated that if the pilots were to fail on humaneness then BVA could not support the wider roll-out of the method of controlled shooting.
– Brian May, Queen guitarist and leading anti-cull campaigner, speaking on BBC Breakfast
We should also mention that the report discovered that it was very inhumane as well. I don't think people will stand for this. You're talking about badgers taking five or 10 minutes to die. Owen Paterson's denied that but it's obviously true. [...] I have a lot of sympathy for farmers but this is not the way to solve the problem. The way we believe we can solve it is by vaccinating the badgers, and also vaccinating the cows. [...] Badgers can be vaccinated for about £120 a head, but it has just cost £4,200 per badger to kill the poor things.
A Government-commissioned investigation into the 2013 pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset is said to have found they were ineffective and inhumane, according to BBC reports.
Research commissioned by the Government found that the number of badgers killed fell short of targets set to limit the spread of TB in cattle:
- The aim was to kill 70% in cull areas within a six-week period, but fewer than 50% of badgers were killed in both areas during the first six weeks
- Over 5% of badgers took longer than five minutes to die, failing the test for humaneness
Two bus passengers have been treated in hospital after a double-decker toppled sideways into a ditch in Somerset.The vehicle was carrying 17 passengers when it crashed into the roadside gulley between Burnham-on-Sea and Brean, and came to rest at a 45-degree angle.
Two people who clambered out of the wrecked vehicle were taken to hospital and the road was cordoned off while the cause of the crash was investigated.The First Bus vehicle was travelling the five-mile coastal route when it crashed.
Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson came to Bridgwater today to chair a meeting on the Somerset Action Plan.
The proposal will concentrate on river management, and will be submitted to the Government next month.
Our Somerset correspondent David Woodland spoke to Mr Rogerson just after the meeting finished:-
A man who started a fire at a supermarket in Somerset, and claimed to have no memory of the blaze, has been given a four year prison sentence.
24 year old Robert Pitman from Welllington started the fire in a rubbish skip the Waitrose store in Wellington last July.
It spread to an overhead canopy and caused £3.5 million damage.
The organisers of Glastonbury Festival in Somerset have announced that the American country star Dolly Parton will perform at this year's event. The festival runs from 25 to 29 June 2014.