On the eve of a potentially devastating badger cull, Team Badger has published a report exposing the myths which underpin these misguided plans.
Team Badger's mythbusters report (PDF 974KB) has been published to correct inaccuracies and misconceptions being used to justify the killing of thousands of badgers.
Team Badger, made up of us, IFAW, the Humane Society International (UK), Born Free, Dr Brian May’s ‘Save Me’ organisation, the League Against Cruel Sports and many other national and local organisations, aims to demonstrate that the near-extermination of the badgers will have little or no impact on reducing bovine TB in cattle.
Despite overwhelming scientific, parliamentary and public opposition, the government confirmed last week that it will still go ahead with a cull of badgers, which could start as early as tomorrow (Saturday 1 June).
Alarmingly, Defra have also indicated that the plans could quickly be rolled out further and wider following the six week pilot in parts of West Somerset and Tewkesbury.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said:
There are many myths in circulation about badgers and bovine TB being used to justify this cull. They are unscientific, dangerously inaccurate and need to be exposed.
We care about cows and badgers alike. It is time to set the record straight and tell the truth that the cull will not help the cattle or stop bovine TB.
Only a full vaccination of badgers and cattle coupled with better bio-security on farms can do that.
The cull could make bovine TB worse in some areas
Team Badger opposes the badger cull for both scientific and welfare reasons.
We sympathise with farmers dealing with the problems of this disease. We care just as much about cattle as we do about badgers, but agree with the experts that a cull would be of little help in eradicating bovine TB in cattle, and could even make it worse in some areas.
We stand ready to work with the farming community to deliver more effective alternatives including the vaccination of both badgers and cattle and improved biosecurity.
Mark Jones, Humane Society International/UK Director & Veterinarian said:
With the lives of so many thousands of badgers at stake, it is unacceptable for the public and farmers to be hoodwinked into believing that a cull will be effective in tackling bovine TB.
Political spin is playing fast and loose with scientific facts and that’s got to stop.
Read the full report here Team Badger's mythbusters report (PDF 974KB)
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