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New badger cull petition launched on government website

Tuesday 30th August 2016

Badger cull announcement - Elliot Neep Badger cull announcement - Elliot Neep

The Wildlife Trusts’ supporters voice opposition to cull

Today, The Wildlife Trusts’ President Emeritus, Simon King OBE, launched a new e-petition on the Government website calling for an end to the badger cull and no expansion of the cull to new areas. This morning the Government announced that seven new licences for badger culling have been granted, covering parts of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. These areas are in addition to the existing cull areas in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset which are part of a four-year trial cull, as yet incomplete.

The scientific evidence demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and risks making the problem even worse.

Simon King OBE, the new e-petition proposer (, says: “Any extension of badger culling into new areas should be prevented. The scientific evidence demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and risks making the problem even worse. The impact of bovine TB is painful, disruptive and distressing to the lives and businesses of farmers - but culling is not the solution and gives farmers false hope.”

The Wildlife Trusts oppose the decision by Natural England to grant new licences for culling badgers and call on the Government and the newly appointed Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, to overrule and reverse this decision immediately.

Sir David Attenborough, also a President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “An expansion of the badger cull to new areas, against the recommendations of scientists and before the completion of a four year trial cull, is surely a bad idea.”

The Wildlife Trusts call on the Government to take immediate action to:

  • Reduce cattle-to-cattle transmission of bovine TB - the major cause of infection - by tightening movement controls on cattle even further
  • Accelerate research into cattle vaccination
  • Improve testing regimes for cattle
  • Invest in more research into better techniques for early detection of TB in cattle
  • Ensure higher standards of biosecurity on farms and link this to cross-compliance for subsidy payments
  • Secure alternative sources of badger vaccine and speed up the approval process so that suspended vaccination programmes can resume as soon as possible

There is a Westminster Hall debate on badger culling and bovine TB scheduled for 7 September organised by Dr Paul Monaghan MP (SNP). Information here.


Badgers matter - how can you help? 

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is firmly opposed to the badger cull and will not allow culling on its land. Donate today and help us continue our highly successful badger vaccination programme so we can prove vaccination is more auccessful in the fight against bovine TB than culling. Thank you. 

Donate today to help badgers

Click on this button to donate via Virgin Money Giving.

You can also donate by text.

Alternatively, give us a call on 01773 881188.  




Contact Emma Robertshaw (Media), 01636 670015 / 07779 657515

Adam Cormack, 01636 670063 / 07824 846204

Editors’ notes

The badger cull - background

Badgers are being culled as part of a government initiative to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle, a disease which devastates thousands of farming businesses annually. Pilot badger culls commenced in 2013 amid fierce opposition. Despite two parliamentary debates, a prominent opposition campaign and the support of numerous experts and high profile figures, the number of areas increased in 2015. A government announcement is expected any day on the new areas for an extension of the cull. 

The Wildlife Trusts believe culling is offering farmers false hope. The scientific evidence demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and, worse still, risks making the problem even worse. All the evidence shows that the primary route of infection is via cow-to-cow contact; the control of bTB in cattle should be the main focus of everyone’s efforts to control this problem. 

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.