The High Peak has been split in two by people for and against the Government’s proposal for a badger cull in order to control bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
The debate over how to prevent the spread of the disease among cattle has been going for decades, with many believing badgers carrying it to be the root for the problem. Over the last ten years £500million of taxpayers’ money had been spent in control measures.
There have been calls from organisations such as the National Union of Farmers (NFU) for a badger cull in order to reduce the number of outbreaks in the UK and save many farmers from ruin.
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham was one of a majority of MPs to vote in favour of a pilot cull, which is taking place in the South West of England at the moment, to determine the effectiveness of killing badgers in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
Andrew said: “I don’t want to vote to kill any animal, but we have got this problem with bTB.
“I’m caught between two sciences because there’s a group of scientists who say a cull is required and there is a group of scientists who say it isn’t.
“I think the planned culls will hopefully clear up the difference between the two scientific sides.
“I will support the trials but what I want to see the evidence when it is over.
“I won’t vote for any further cull until it can be demonstrated to me that it is effective.”
He dispelled rumours that the cull was a politically–motivated move on the Government’s part to win the votes of farmers.
Wildlife organisations such as the High Peak Badger Group see the cull as an inefficient and barbaric way to tackle the situation, claiming it will not solve the problem and the only way forward it vaccination.
Members from the group joined other wildlife groups from across the country to travelled to London where they joined former Queen guitarist Brian May to hand in a petition against the cull to the Department for Environment, Food, Rural Affairs.