The Carrot of Shame

Taunton MP Rebecca Pow hits back at badger cull protestors who awarded her the 'carrot of shame'

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow has hit back at being awarded the 'carrot of shame' at a badger cull protest held in Vivary Park on Saturday, releasing a statement defending the cull.

Somerset Badger Patrol awarded a 'carrot of shame' to Mrs Pow at the anti-badger cull rally held in Taunton this weekend.

During a speech at the protest Adrian Coward of Somerset Against the Badger Cull accused the government of sanctioning badger culling as a symbolic carrot to farmers.

He said he had planned to award the carrot to Conservative MP Mrs Pow in person had she been in attendance.

Mr Coward cited the fact that the government had continued with the culls in spite of evidence from an Independent Expert Panel appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which described the cull as ‘inhumane and ineffective’.

"It is our intention to award this carrot to whoever we see fit, so whenever you see this carrot appearing, you know it's for somebody who is not on our side," he said.

However Conservative MP Mrs Pow has hit back describing bovine TB as a devastating disease doing untold harm to cattle and the dairy industry.

"In 2014 alone 26,000 cattle had to be slaughtered as a result of this disease which cost millions in compensation. For years this problem has not been adequately tackled and now it must be," Mrs Pow said.

Mrs Pow said that a number of options should be used to deal with it including adequate cattle movement controls to stop spreading, vaccination where appropriate and where necessary in high-risk areas, a controlled cull.

Mrs Pow added: "No one wants a diseased cattle population or indeed a diseased wildlife population which is why this Government is committed to delivering a 25 year strategy to eradicate bovine TB from England."