Badger cull: Wildlife and animal welfare groups
condemn start of operations to tackle TB
Opponents accuse the Government of going against scientific evidence in pushing ahead with pilot culls of badgers
Tuesday 27 August 2013
Wildlife and animal welfare groups have reacted angrily to news that culling of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle has begun.
Opponents have accused the Government of going against the scientific evidence and public opinion in pushing ahead with pilot culls of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire in a bid to address high levels of infection in beef and dairy herds.
Simon Nash, chief executive of Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: "We are very conscious of the hardship that bTB causes our farming community.
"However science clearly shows that a badger cull is not the solution to bTB and, in fact, the shooting of badgers could make the problem worse here in Somerset.
"This cull is a distraction and gets in the way of implementing the right mechanisms to control this disease through improved biosecurity and the roll out of cattle and badger vaccines - a view shared by many landowners here in Somerset."
The Humane Society International UK's executive director and vet Mark Jones said: "This is a dark day for Britain as science and ethics have been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency.
"Thousands of innocent badgers will now suffer and die in a completely unjustified slaughter that will at best have a marginal impact on TB in cattle and could very well make the problem worse.
"This cull isn't just about badgers, it's about the disgraceful way in which our government has cast aside scientific rigour, moral accountability and transparency to pacify those who would rather shoot wildlife than modernise the cattle industry."
The RSPCA has also condemned the cull, and said it was expecting high numbers of calls about badgers during the six-week culling period. It has set up a dedicated emergency line for calls about badgers and readied staff to cope with an increase in badger admissions.
The wildlife charity said it would be monitoring the humaneness of the cull by examining any wounded badgers brought in, and called on the Government to be more transparent about how it was assessing whether the culling was humane.
Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports said: "Over 270,000 people signed the petition against the cull, but what we have here is the death of democracy as the Government carries on regardless.
"This is nothing but 'Cameron's Cull', done purely as the politicians can't be seen to lose face."
Robbie Marsland, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said the cull "should not roll out any further until Parliament has the regrettable chance to examine the data from the 5,000 badgers that will be needlessly sacrificed in the coming weeks".
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Brazilian wandering spider: Where are they from and how deadly are they?
Government ‘allowing coal industry to get green subsidies’
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
Saharan sun could provide energy for UK homes in £8bn plan to build 100 sq km solar farm - and a very long power cable
The 'vampire squid': RSPB attacked by other conservationists for 'misusing funds'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£4848 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Outstanding...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors/Long Term Teaching Ass...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors needed for seco...