MP Ruth George stands up against the badger cull

(c) Andrew Parkinson

MP Ruth George joined Derbyshire Wildlife Trust this morning to help vaccinate badgers against bovine TB.

Her visit comes at a time when the threat of the badger cull is looming over the county. Derbyshire has been named in the 14 potential areas for the badger cull extension – with 10 to be confirmed any day. If Derbyshire is chosen, the badger cull will start here as early as September.

As part of the visit Ruth George witnessed several badgers being vaccinated by the team and got to mark and release two of the badgers. Ruth said, “I’ve had a fantastic morning with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust watching and helping them vaccinate and releases badgers. I am amazed how untroubled these beautiful creatures are when they are in the cages and getting injected with the vaccine. It is horrific that the Government are considering culling badgers in Derbyshire which would significantly disrupt this nationally important five year vaccination project."

MP Ruth George stands up against the badger cull

"The Government has already provided thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money to help this important work. Allowing a cull to come here could have a huge impact on this project and makes no sense. There is no scientific evidence for the badger cull and the Government are not even testing culled badgers for bovine TB. There are far more options to tackle bovine TB which the Government should be pursuing instead of allowing the shooting of thousands of badgers in Derbyshire should a cull arrive. I am totally opposed to the killing of such an iconic animal.”

Tim Birch, Head of Living Landscapes at the Trust added “I was delighted to join Ruth George MP for the High Peak in Derbyshire for the vaccination of badgers this morning at a site near Whaley Bridge. We greatly appreciates the support we have received from Ruth for our nationally important badger vaccination project. We hope that Theresa Villiers, the new Environment Secretary, will not allow a badger cull in Derbyshire and will support and help us expand our vaccination programme in the county. Vaccinating badgers not shooting them is the way forward. Let’s not forget that this is primarily a cattle disease spread by cattle and that is where the focus on tackling this disease should be.”

Over the last six years, over 100 volunteers from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have run the UK’s largest vaccination programme across the county in a bid to stop the spread of bovine TB and to prevent  the badger cull coming here. The Trust works with a number of partners and landowners with plans to expand the vaccination area wider.

The Trust needs your support now and are asking people to write to their MP to stop the cull at