Government to press ahead with badger cull this summer

Wednesday 27th February 2013

Badger copyright Jon Bowen

The Government is to press ahead with two pilot culls of badgers this summer, despite widespread public opposition and evidence that culling could make the bovine TB problem worse.

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson MP, announced today that the pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset, originally due to take place last year, have been authorised by Natural England and can begin any time from 1st June. He also announced that a reserve pilot area will be developed in Dorset as a back up in case of problems with either of the proposed cull areas.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts said, “When the pilot culls were delayed The Wildlife Trusts called on the Government to take a serous look at the alternative methods of tackling bTB. 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."

"It is very disappointing that despite public opinion and the view of Parliament and eminent scientists, the Government continues to focus their resources on proceeding with the pilot culls.”

For more on badgers and bovine TB see http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/badgers-and-bovinetb