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Debate date in Parliament for petition against badger cull confirmed

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Badger, Andrew MasonBadger, Andrew Mason

Parliament has confirmed a date to debate the petition against the badger cull - Monday 27th March.

The petition was launched in August 2016 by Simon King OBE, and outlined the following position: 

Since 2013, thousands of badgers have been killed in a Government cull attempting to control bovine TB. Against scientific advice & before a 4 year trial has completed, the government is now expanding the cull to new counties - tens of thousands of healthy badgers could be killed.

Experts in disease control and animal welfare agree that pilot badger culls have proven both ineffective and inhumane. Shooting badgers is also expensive, costing tax-payers some £5,000 per animal. Bovine TB is a serious problem but killing badgers is not the solution, and could actually make the situation worse. It is a costly distraction from an effective solution incorporating vaccination, increased cattle movement control measures and improved testing.

The petition will expire on Saturday (25th February). Thanks to a rally from supporters in Derbyshire and nationwide, the 100,000 signature threshold was reached earlier this month.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust would like to thank everyone who has signed and shared the petition, along with those who have donated over £50,000 to our badger vaccination programme.

Debbie Bailey, our badger vaccination coordinator at a badger sett

Debbie Bailey, our badger vaccination coordinator at a badger sett

Jo Smith, Chief Executive at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has outlined our opposition to the cull: “We are firmly opposed to the badger cull. We are sympathetic to farmers whose cattle are affected by the devastating disease Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) but we urge the Government to consider the scientific evidence which indicates that a cull will not reduce bovine TB in cattle.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been carrying out a badger vaccination programme across Derbyshire for over three years – working with farmers and landowners to reduce bovine TB in a more humane way.

Jo added, “Derbyshire Wildlife Trust wants to see an end to this devastating disease but there are more effective ways of controlling bovine TB, for example using a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved bTB testing, a badger vaccination programme and development of a cattle vaccine – the eradication of badgers is not the answer.”

Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on the badger cull.