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Badger cull extended to more counties

Monday 11th September 2017

Badger cull extended to more countiesBadger released after vaccination. Rob Appleby

As a fresh wave of badger culling begins in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Somerset, The Wildlife Trusts call on the Government to stop killing badgers. Culling badgers will not eradicate bovine TB in cattle.

The Government's badger cull is flying in the face of science

Almost 15,000 badgers have been killed since culls began in 2013. The Wildlife Trusts are concerned that this culling is putting local populations of badgers at risk in affected parts of the British countryside. We urge Natural England to publish the information they hold on the impact of the badger cull on the wider environment.

The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) strongly opposes the badger cull. We have a long-term vaccination programme for badgers on our land and our neighbours' land (with their permission) in target areas in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Read more about our work.

We have our own herd of cattle, and work with graziers on our nature reserves, therefore we are as keen as all livestock farmers to see bovine TB eradicated; but killing badgers will not solve the problem. A healthy wildlife rich natural world is valuable in its own right, and badgers are an important part of our countryside and culture.

The Wildlife Trusts' Director Stephen Trotter says, "Badgers are not the primary cause of the spread of bTB in cattle: the primary route of infection is cattle-to-cattle contact. The Government's badger cull is flying in the face of science."

The Wildlife Trusts call on the Government to:

  • Stop the policy of badger culling
  • Establish a full and independent inquiry into whether the culls to date have achieved their intended outcomes in reducing bTB in cattle
  • Advance the development of a cattle vaccine, and complete the development of and licence the use of oral baited vaccine in badgers.
  • Develop better biosecurity, bTB testing and cattle movement controls

More information from The Wildlife Trusts about the badger cull.