Government Must Listen to MPs and Abandon Badger Cull

Friday 26th October 2012

photo of a badger by Neil AldridgeGovernment Must Listen to MPs and Abandon Badger Cull

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country urges the Government to listen to Parliament after MPs backed a motion calling on the Government to abandon its planned badger cull.

It was announced on Tuesday that pilot culling schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset would be delayed until 2013, following a request from the farmers carrying out the cull. The Wildlife Trust continues to call on the Government to permanently scrap the cull and throw its weight behind better, lower risk, ways of tackling the disease

MPs voted by 147 to 28 in favour of the motion, which called for the cull to be stopped in favour of a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity. The vote followed a five and a half hour Parliamentary debate, triggered after more than 163,000 people signed a petition opposing the cull.

Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive for The Wildlife Trust, said:
“Opposition to the cull come from scientists, the public and now MPs have voted against a cull, too.

"The Government must realise that it is time to listen and use the available alternatives to tackle bTB. We are especially grateful to those local MPs who noted their constituents’ views and took part in the debate yesterday.

“There is now a reliable test to differentiate between inoculated and infected cattle, so there is now no practical barrier to the implementation of a cattle vaccine, but the Government needs to push the case in Europe to ensure this vaccine can be deployed as soon as possible.

“Our colleagues in other neighbouring Wildlife Trusts have shown that a badger vaccine that works is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease.

“We hope that the Secretary of State will now act based on the evidence and will of parliament.”