NFU criticises Christmas song

By Ross Findon

Monday, December 3, 2012


NFU criticises Christmas song

Chris Packham and Martin Drake-Knight in the video for The Present of Life, the Isle of Wight company's charity song in aid of the Badger Trust.

A CELEBRITY Christmas charity record in aid of the Badger Trust by eco-clothing label Rapanui has been criticised by the Isle of Wight branch of the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Isle of Wight NFU chair Caroline Knox said The Present of Life, which has had backing from naturalists Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham, trivialised the issue of bovine TB.

But the Sandown-based business rejected the claims and said it stood by the effort to raise cash for the Badger Trust, which opposes a cull.

Mrs Knox said: "This festive pop song and video, released by eco-clothing brand Rapanui, may at first seem humorous on the surface but, actually it trivialises the whole issue of bovine tuberculosis.

"Bovine TB is the biggest issue facing the cattle industry, causing misery to hundreds of farming families and resulting in the slaughter of 34,000 cattle across England and Wales this year alone. It also affects a growing number of species of animals in the countryside."

She said there was no single solution to the problem of bovine TB.

"Ideally action should have been taken decades ago to curb the spread of bovine TB on the mainland, fortunately, here on the Isle of Wight, we are bovine TB free as the Solent is a barrier to badger movement.

"This proves how effective the cattle movement and testing regime is in preventing the spread of the disease as we bring in a lot of cattle to the Island.

"It is a tragedy that bovine TB has taken such a hold and we all need to work together to trial every available tool to achieve healthy badgers, healthy cattle and a healthy countryside."

But Rapanui supporter and television naturalist Chris Packham — who appears in the video for the song — said: "85% of our countryside is farmed, and farmers are therefore major custodians of wildlife and sustainability in the UK.

"Farms are also businesses. It's understandable that a farmer on the verge of bankruptcy might look to drastic measures to reduce their losses. But science shows the cull isn’t the answer. If we supported farmers more and bought their produce, perhaps they'd lend their ear to environmentalists a little more easily. British consumers can help British badgers by supporting British farmers.

"We should be working together based on the science towards the best solution for farmers and the Badger population."



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by Raymond Ings

7th December 2012, at 17:27:13

Mrs Knox of the NFU points to the fact that because of the sea barrier cattle on the IOW have been spared to TB. Interesting then that cattle on the Isle of Man have had cattle with TB as there are no badgers on the Isle of Man.

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

3rd December 2012, at 21:58:49

PS..I'm absolutely opposed to a cull when a vaccine is available....when we put the cause of money over that of life we become less than human.

Well done Rapanui

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by Graham Lee Badger Trust IOW

3rd December 2012, at 21:44:59

Geoffrey we fight & try to keep our green spaces for our wildlife, but say for example, when the council is faced with getting a £148,000 payment to upgrade the roads & junctions around a couple of proposed developments in & around Newport, they are not going to turn it down just so my black & white friends can stay in their own homes! Money talks & wildlife walks, that is how it always has been & it is wrong. I saw on IOWCP online recently that our MP Mr Turner was talking about stopping this type of thing (building on green land) which would be great if we had his backing to protect our badger setts from being bulldozed for a block of luxury apartments, but sadly, on asking, he was in support of the proposed cull, so I imagine he would not be backing our quest to fight development on & around island badger setts? Mr Turner, if you are reading this, call me, let's talk.

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

3rd December 2012, at 21:43:00

So Mr Clynch..after we have filled brown sites etc and we still have toi build 10,000 houses in the next 20 years to house our own indigenous (note use of your own catchphrase) Islanders where do we suppose they are going to live...Course our ex BNP rep has no answer to that. Without outside factors the current population of the IOW will produce 20,000 new people who will need housing or they will move away taking our key asset (young people) away from the Island leaving it to the Old People .

Nobody wants Green land to be used, just that we be realistic about available land and there are loads of farms nationwide who get EU subsidies to let land go fallow and lets not make blanket statements , lets look for solutions.

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by geoffrey clynch

3rd December 2012, at 16:32:45

It would be of more help if the animal welfare people got themselves involved with the saving of GREEN land and to stop all the building being forced on it by this council and lib/lab/con/eu pact, therefore saving our countryside for badgers and farmers alike, if not then there wont be any countryside left to have this arguement

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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