The proposal by the government to extend the badger cull to new regions, including Derbyshire, will achieve a number of things. It will polarise opinion in the countryside. It will cost farmers money they can ill afford. It will cost the over-stretched public purse millions of pounds. It will provoke active protest and put even more pressure on an already hard-pressed police force.
What it will not achieve is a reduction in bovine tuberculosis. Bovine tuberculosis is a genuine problem for dairy farmers. Farmers who are paid too little for milk and who have been going out of business for decades. However, we know thanks to Lord Krebs and the distinguished statisticians and zoologists who examined the results of a scientific study, that killing badgers will not solve the problem. In fact it will probably make it worse.
Brian May, guitarist with Queen has condemned the policy, so have Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham. And so, of course, have The Wildlife Trusts. The government has chosen to seek the best possible scientific advice and then ignore it. Instead they are embarking on a plan that most people know will not work; that will cost huge amounts of money and that in the course of doing so will slaughter not just a protected species, but one of the most charismatic animals in the British countryside. At the end of the exercise, England's dairy farmers will be no better off. Crazy.
We need your help to end this madness. Badger vaccination is a much cheaper, much more humane and a much more sensible option. Please donate and please support our attempts to prevent a cull.