32,601 badgers culled this year

Badger, Terry Whittaker 2020 Vision

We are appalled that 32,601 badgers have been culled in 2018.

The shocking figure was released yesterday by the Government. They confirmed that at least 32,601 badgers were culled across 32 badger cull zones in England and that the badger cull has gone ahead for the first year in Staffordshire and Cumbria, in addition to the existing areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Wiltshire.

Tim Birch at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said, “It is truly appalling that so many badgers have been shot with the approval of the Government this year. There is no justification for this. No evidence has been produced that shows shooting so many badgers is having any significant impact on the bovine TB disease. This is a disease of cattle primarily spread by cattle. Badgers are being used as a scapegoat by the Government. In Derbyshire we are successfully vaccinating badgers to ensure they do not contract the disease from cattle. We are focussed on keeping our badgers healthy. The Government should focus its efforts on stopping the spread of this disease by cattle amongst cattle. It’s time to stop the badger cull before more of these iconic animals are shot.”

Badgers, Elliott Neep

Badgers, Elliott Neep 

Badgers are a protected species and it is believed that this is one of the largest legally sanctioned slaughters of a protected species to have ever taken place in the UK.

With figures as high as they are experts at the Trust believe that now more than ever the Government needs to look at more effective and ethical ways of controlling bovine TB. They argue that a vaccine for the cattle combined with monitoring cattle movement should be the top priority.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been leading the way for five years with a hugely successful volunteer led badger vaccination programme which is showing that culling of badgers is not needed.

Jason Skeen vaccinating the 200th badger of the season - Georgie Hutton, High Peak Badger Group

Jason Skeen vaccinating the 200th badger of the season - Georgie Hutton, High Peak Badger Group 

Not only this, vaccination is far cheaper with recent figures from the Trust putting the cost of vaccinating a badger at £82 verses £6,000 to shoot one. This means not only is vaccination more humane, it’s also more cost effective for the UK taxpayer than the cull.

How can you help?

We have raised over £55,000 and is continuing to raise funds to support their vaccination programme. You can donate via this link www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/badgers