Back off badgers in England
Two ‘pilot’ badger culls, in Somerset and Gloucestershire, began in August 2013 as part of measures to try and control the spread of Bovine tuberculosis (bTB). A third cull area, in Dorset, was licensed in 2015. In 2016 this was increased by seven to make ten areas in South West England licensed for culls.
We objected to the licensing of further cull areas as we do not believe that the ‘pilot’ culls achieved their objectives of being efficient and humane.
Half the culls failed to meet their so-called ‘targets’ of numbers of badgers culled. And it is extremely likely that up to 20 percent of badgers shot took longer than five minutes to die. Also, no information has been provided to demonstrate that the two 'pilot' culls have had an impact on the incidence of bTB in cattle in the cull areas.
A real solution
Focusing on badgers is a costly distraction
We believe that by improving the welfare of cattle through better husbandry, strict movement controls, increased levels of testing and improved biosecurity are more effective ways of dealing with bTB in the long term. We also believe that vaccination of badgers and cattle has an important part to play in the management of this disease.
A new approach is needed to tackle this disease, to better serve the farmers who are stricken by the effects of TB, their cattle and the badgers.
Call to end the ineffective culls
On Monday, 27 March, MP's will have the opportunity to debate the badger cull. Write to your MP today. Ask them to attend the debate and to call for an end to the badger culls in favour of a more effective solution incorporating vaccination, increased cattle movement control measures and improved testing.