SWT calls for immediate halt to the new badger cull

Badger'A family of badgers in Dumfriesshire come out to feed at dusk.
Badger'A family of badgers in Dumfriesshire come out to feed at dusk.

Scotland’s leading wildlife conservation charity is calling for an immediate stop to the planned slaughter of badgers in England which started on Saturday, June 1.

Badger culling is being introduced as an attempt to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

The licences that have been issued by the UK Government are designed to test the controlled shooting method for badgers – although free shooting of badgers will also be permitted.

As a champion of biodiversity, the Scottish Wildlife Trust is firmly against the cull because it is unscientific and highly unlikely to achieve its aim of reducing the spread of bTB.

Instead, the Scottish Wildlife Trust is keen for the farming community, conservation organisations and the UK Government to continue to work together on confronting this disease through the following measures: Biosecurity – all possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm; Badger vaccination – landowners need support to use the injectable badger BCG vaccine.

The trust also urges Defra to continue development of an oral badger vaccine; Cattle vaccine – complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment. Chairman of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Allan Bantick, said: “The Scottish Wildlife Trust want people to show their opposition to the culling of badgers in England.

“The Scottish Wildlife Trust urges everyone to sign the e-petition – the second largest of its kind – and make it the largest collection of signatures ever, to show the public outrage at this cull.

“The trust advocates more research into developing a badger and cattle vaccination programme.”