Goverment to go ahead with badger cull.

Thursday 28th February 2013

Badger cull to go aheadBadger cull to go ahead

Despite MPs calling on the Government to abandon its planned badger cull last year, the culls have once again been authorised.

Widespread public opposition and evidence that culling could make the bovine TB problem worse has failed to stop Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP announcing that Natural England have authorised the pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset, originally due to take place last year. They can begin any time from 1st June, and this time a reserve pilot area will also be developed in Dorset as a back up in case of problems with either of the proposed cull areas.

Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, commented, “The Secretary of State is committed to evidence based policy. He has looked carefully and thoughtfully at the cases for and against badger culling. It is really disappointing that he has decided to go ahead with the cull, despite the great majority of scientists who have examined the matter drawing the conclusion that at best it will have little impact, and at worst it could actually help spread bTB.”

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts said, “When the pilot culls were delayed The Wildlife Trusts called on the Government to take a serous look at the alternative methods of tackling bTB. A badger vaccine is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease. In the longer term a cattle vaccine can play a very real part in helping deal with the problem."

"It is very disappointing that despite public opinion and the view of Parliament and eminent scientists, the Government continues to focus their resources on proceeding with the pilot culls.” Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts