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I speak in this debate very much as a layman. I am not a farmer or an expert on the scientific issues, and I do not think that we have the disease in Coventry, so I cannot even claim a constituency interest, but I have a deep hatred of unnecessary suffering in animals, and so much of it goes on, with vivisection and all the rest of it. Where there is no compelling evidence that such suffering is necessary, we must seriously question our consciences and our policies.
I am also aware, as I am sure is every Back Bencher—I heard the speech that my hon. Friend Angela Smith made at a party meeting last night and again today—that this horrid and hideous disease is hated right across the country. We feel deeply for the farmers who are wrestling with it on their farms. The worst thing we can do when we cannot see a way forward is grasp at the nearest solution that might do some good. The Government will then say, “We have no confidence that this will work, but if you want to pay for it, we’ll license it,” and that is when we know that we are at a dead loss. That is shown by the figures, because there has been a catastrophic failure—it cannot be considered anything else. It is not scientific evidence, but empirical evidence of people not being able to shoot enough badgers. It is as simple as that.