Badger culling to continue

Thursday 3rd April 2014

Badger cub photo by Elliot Neep, ElliottNeep.comBadger cull to continue

The Wildlife Trusts express disappointment and frustration that badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire will resume this year.

Badger culling retains a high profile in the Government TB Free Strategy for England, published today, although Environment Secretary Owen Paterson also confirmed that culling will not be rolled out to other areas in 2014.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape at The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Although we are relieved to hear culling will not start in other counties, it is frustrating that culling will continue in Somerset and Gloucestershire. A wider roll-out of this failed policy would have been totally unacceptable. The evidence is clear; the pilot culls have been ineffective and inhumane. It is highly likely that they have already made the bTB situation worse, due to perturbation, and their continuation will serve to exacerbate the situation.

“We welcome the recognition of badger vaccination as a valuable tool but we fully reject claims that the deployment of injectable vaccine is not practical. There are 13 Wildlife Trusts already demonstrating that it can be.”

In the last week, more than 5,000 people have signed The Wildlife Trusts’ e-petition asking David Cameron to drop culling badgers from the Government’s TB eradication strategy and instead focus on vaccination and other alternative measures.

Paul Wilkinson continues: “We want to ensure the Prime Minister feels the weight of serious public concern around continued culling. The Government must abandon its failed culling approach if we are to effectively tackle this disease. The TB strategy 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.”

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