Government must listen to MPs and abandon badger cull

Thursday 25th October 2012

Badger cpt Elliot SmithBadger cpt Elliot Smith

The Wildlife Trusts urge the Government to listen to Parliament after MPs have today backed a motion calling on the Government to abandon its planned badger cull.

It was announced on Tuesday that pilot culling schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset would be delayed until 2013, following a request from the farmers carrying out the cull.  The Wildlife Trusts continue to call on the Government to permanently scrap the cull and throw its weight behind better, lower risk, ways of tackling the disease

MPs voted by 147 to 28 in favour of the motion, which called for the cull to be stopped in favour of a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.  The vote followed a five and a half hour Parliamentary debate, triggered after more than 163,000 people signed a petition opposing the cull.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Scientists oppose the cull, the public opposes the cull and now MPs have voted against a cull.  It is time for the Government to listen and use the available alternatives to tackle bTB.  We are grateful to those MPs who took part in the debate today.  We hope that the Secretary of State’s early departure from the Commons Chamber today does not mean his mind is closed to this issue.

“A badger vaccine is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease.  In the longer term a cattle vaccine can play a very real part in helping deal with the problem and the Government should now be putting the effort into ensuring this vaccine can be deployed as soon as possible.”

Contact information:

Anna Guthrie (Media & PR Manager)
Office: 01636 670075 / Mobile: 07887 754659 / Email:

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Notes for editors:

The Wildlife Trusts (TWT)
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK.  All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone.  We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch.  Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas.  We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife.  Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors.  Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas. 

Tagged with: Living Landscapes