Green light for badger cull

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JUST when you thought it was safe to a badger, the proposed cull has been given the ‘green light’ by the government and will take place this summer. Around 5,000 of the protected species will be shot.

This is no surprise, because despite losing a vote in Parliament, despite what is quoted as 92% public opposition to the cull, and despite scientific evidence clearly showing that the cull won’t have the desired effect on Bovine TB, something is compelling the government to press on with this policy.

Which is a shame (I could use stronger words). The sticking point between animal welfare groups and farmers on this issue has been the ‘something needs to be done’ argument. Farmers are desperate for help on this, and understandably so.

Now though, an alternative solution is coming into sight.

Care for the Wild and other leading animal welfare charities are working hard to make the vaccination of badgers a viable alternative.

We’re discussing it with the government and full plans will be revealed soon.

We’re showing that the compassionate approach can work, and believe that many farmers would choose this route if it was workable.

Alongside better security on farms (simple measures to keep badgers away from cattle aren’t always done properly) and tighter controls on cattle movement, then vaccination can play a role in beating this disease.

Right now the UK farming industry needs strong leadership and workable solutions – not politicians running blindly down a canyon.

Philip Mansbridge

CEO, Care for the Wild, Horsham