Rescheduling of badger cull denied by Whitehall officials
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Friday 19 October 2012
Speculation was intensifying last night that the planned badger cull might be postponed by up to a year.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said yesterday the speculation was "without foundation" and insisted the Government was still committed to culling badgers to stop bovine tuberculosis, which badgers can carry, spreading in cattle. Yet rumours persisted in Westminster and Whitehall of a possible rescheduling of the operation to shoot thousands of badgers in pilot areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset, which is proving deeply unpopular with the public and increasingly contentious within the scientific community.
It is thought that farmers in the two pilot areas, who are organising the cull at their own expense with teams of marksmen, may be having difficulty meeting the terms of the two culling licences provisionally issued by the Government's wildlife watchdog, Natural England.
Farmers must pay a bond as insurance in case they pull out mid-cull and the Government has to step in to finish the job. Estimates indicate there are far more badgers in the pilot areas than was thought, and the shooters are to be paid a bounty for every badger they kill – making the operation much more costly.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
Plastic rubbish heaps at sea pose bigger threat to Earth than climate change, claims ocean expert
Silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of last ever passenger pigeon
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: We are working with an exciting orga...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager required, S...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: We are working with an exciting orga...