The problem is bovineTB, not badgers.

Tuesday 25th March 2014

Badger photo by Jon HawkinsBadger photo by Jon Hawkins

Despite strong public opposition, a string of Government failures and MP recognition that an alternative strategy to deal with bovineTB is needed, plans to continue - and extend - badger culling - are expected this week. The Wildlife Trusts today launch an appeal aimed at the Prime Minister to bolster support for alternatives.

The Wildlife Trusts today ask David Cameron - via an e-action petition - to drop the Government’s failed badger cull policy and develop an alternative strategy for tackling bovine tuberculosis.

According to yesterday’s edition of The Sunday Times, the Government’s badger culls are to restart this summer, with a third zone in Dorset added to the existing areas in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We are today launching an e-action to ensure the Prime Minister feels the weight of serious public concern that any plans for continued and extended culling will make matters worse. The Government must take a long hard look at its policy and drop the failed culling approach to effectively tackle this disease. The justification to continue, and further extend, culling in other counties will be totally unacceptable.

“If the news reported yesterday is confirmed later this week, it will reinforce serious unease that lessons are not being learned; that the basic facts and strong public opinion are falling on deaf ears with what can only be dire consequences. We continue to push for badger culling to be dropped from the Government’s bTB strategy. It must prioritise badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine."

According to The Sunday Times, an announcement by the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), is expected this Thursday (27 March) along with the publication of the Independent Expert Panel report. The newspaper also reported Defra is “planning another three years of culling in Gloucester and Somerset, for which licences have already been issued, and four years of culls in Dorset. Proposed culls in Cornwall and Devon are understood to have been dropped for now.”

Paul Wilkinson, added: “Earlier this month, MPs overwhelmingly backed a motion calling on the Government to drop culling. They listened to the views of the public, took into account the facts and backed alternatives. It is long overdue for the Government to do the same.”

To sign The Wildlife Trusts’ e-action visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/dropthecull 

Tagged with: Action, Badger cull, David Cameron, Wildlife trusts

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