Badger cull statement
We're appalled at the latest plans to issue eleven new badger cull licences in England. This more than doubles the number from ten to 21, the biggest increase to date.
And though we welcome the relaunch of the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, this cannot be seen as a pro-active, humane action from the government. It's merely the result of vaccine once again becoming available.
We believe culling is not effective
We're now entering the fifth year for some culls, and after all that time, there's still no scientific evidence that culling is effective in reducing bovine TB in these areas.
Indeed culling could be spreading the disease to new areas. Nor do we believe that the methods used in the cull are humane or that there's any proof the badgers being culled are indeed infected with the disease.
While we agree action is needed to deal with bovine TB, we don't believe culling badgers is an effective way to achieve this.
With vaccines now again readily available, it's right that the Government has re started the vaccination programme. However, this shouldn't be misinterpreted as the Government converting its kill programme to using vaccines.
Alternatives should be prioritised
We urge that alternatives should be prioritised including:
- an effective vaccination scheme
- increased levels of cattle testing
- improved biosecurity
- stricter controls on the movement of cattle.
The original culls were licensed for four years, but to date there's been no published review of their effectiveness in controlling bovine TB in cattle in the pilot cull areas.
With the number of cull areas growing from an initial two to today’s 21, this makes us wonder what it will take for all those concerned to finally put up their hands, admit this project was a failure and call a halt to it once and for all.