The Wildlife Trusts are firmly opposed to the badger cull and no Wildlife Trust will allow culling on its land.
Badgers matter - what you can do
1. Contact your MP
Write to, email or tweet your local MP, urging them to put pressure on the Government to fing new sources of vaccine and drop the cull. We've created a template letter for you to use but local, personalised contact works best.
2. Experience the magic of seeing a badger
Celebrate these wonderful creatures by setting up a night-watch on a sett and be enchanted by badgers merrily going about their business. Find out if there's a badger watching event near you.
3. Email your MEP about the EU cattle vaccine ban
Ask your MEP to press for the EU ban on a cattle vaccine to be lifted.
Find the details of your MEP. A cattle vaccine is the long term solution to the bTB problem, but EU rules currently prevent it from being tested and used in this country - find out why.
The Badger Trust website also has lots of information on the badger cull and links to local badger groups around the UK.
The Wildlife Trusts believe that culling badgers is not the answer
The Wildlife Trusts have been working on the issue of bovine TB and its links to badgers for many years, as different Governments have put forward proposals for culling badgers as a strategy for controlling bovine TB.
We are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer. Lord Krebs, who designed a previous trial, concluded that that “culling is not a viable policy option”.
We recognise the seriousness of the situation for farmers but the emphasis of all our efforts should be to find a long-term solution. We are urging the Government to drop badger culling from its bTB strategy and prioritise badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine.
*2016 update: There is currently an ongoing global shortage of the BCG vaccine, which protects badgers against bovine TB but is also used in the human TB vaccine. The World Health Organisation has advised countries to limit the use of the vaccine to those individuals who need it most, which has resulted in a suspension of badger vaccination projects in Wales and England.*
Tackling the disease should therefore include the following measures:
- Better biosecurity: all possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm
- Stricter movement controls: to minimise the risk of spreading disease when cattle are transported
- Improved TB testing: to increase detection of the disease - currently, many infected cattle are missed
- Badger vaccination: support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine and continue development of an oral badger vaccine. Vaccination project are currently on hold due to a global shortage of BCG vaccine.
- Cattle vaccination: complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure changes to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment
No Wildlife Trust will allow badger culling on its land
Our activities over the last few years include:
Delivered badger vaccination programmes
In 2011 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to begin deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. Ten other Wildlife Trusts have since joined Gloucestershire in carrying out local vaccination programmes. Collectively, Wildlife Trusts vaccinated 317 badgers in 2014 - see the full list of our vaccination projects and read our 2011-13 vaccination progress report. Our vaccination projects are currently on hold due to a global shortage of BCG vaccine.
Producing a report to Defra 'Enabling Badger Vaccine Deployment'
Stakeholders (farmers, vets, lay vaccinators, volunteers) were consulted to determine barriers to undertaking badger vaccination and develop proposals to overcome them, to increase the scale of badger vaccination activities. This report, and further engagement, influenced the development of Defra's Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS). You can download the report at the bottom of this page.
Securing BEVS funding
We secured Defra funding to roll out badger vaccination at a landscape scale in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Berkshire.
Lobbying the Government and MPs
We continue to do this both nationally and at a local level at key moments, and have facilitated meetings of MPs on the topic. We have also been lobbying the European Commission on cattle vaccination.
Encouraging our members to take action
We have been encouraging our members to write to their MPs. We've also encouraged people to contact their MEPs about the EU ban on a bTB cattle vaccine.
Submitting evidence to Government
We submitted evidence to the EFRA (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Select Committee
Standing up for badgers
in the media including on national television and radio
Promoting the anti-cull petition
on the Number 10 website - which reached more than 300,000 signatures
Responding to government consultations - you can download The Wildlife Trusts' response to the Defra consultation on a draft strategy to manage bTB in Britain at the bottom of this page.
Connecting people and badgers
Watching badgers on their home turf is a real eye opener and seeing these amazing creatures merrily going about their business will enchant everyone. Go to one of our badger watching events for some of the best opportunities to see them and watch their fascinating behaviour.
Campaigning for people and badgers
The Wildlife Trusts act based on robust scientific analysis and we believe that the distress of bovine TB will not be eradicated by a badger cull. It is not the answer for badgers or farmers and we campaign for the government to focus on a more durable and resilient strategy to reduce bovine TB.
The Wildlife Trusts’ President Simon King OBE and our President Emeritus Sir David Attenborough have, along with others, articulated their views on the badger cull in this short film produced by the Badger Trust.
|TWT consultation response.pdf||609.67 KB|
|TWT Enabling badger vaccine deployment final report to Defra.pdf||416.3 KB|
|TWT 2011-13 badger vaccination report.pdf||1.08 MB|