Wildlife charity condemns decision to cull more badgers

CULLING badgers is not the answer to eradicating bovine TB in cattle, says Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
CULLING badgers is not the answer to eradicating bovine TB in cattle, says Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

A decision by the government to extend badger culling has been strongly condemned by a Derbyshire conservation charity.

Shooting of badgers will be carried out in five new areas of England from next month as part of a long-term strategy to eradicate bovine tubercolosis among cattle.

But the move has angered Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which feels there are more effective ways of controlling the disease.

“We are firmly opposed to the badger culls and we are extremely concerned to hear about the proposed extension,” said the Trust’s chief executive, Jo Smith.

“We are sympathetic to farmers whose cattle is affected by bovine TB, but we urge the government to consider the scientific evidence, which indicates that culls will not reduce the devastating disease.”

The Trust has been carrying out a badger-vaccination programme across Derbyshire for the last three years, working with farmers and landowners to reduce bovine TB in a more humane way.

Jo added: “We want to see an end to this disease, but there are better measures that can be taken. For example, better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved bovine TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine. The eradication of badgers is not the answer.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s vaccination programme is one of 13 similar schemes across the UK. No Wildlife Trust will allow badger culling on its land.

The Trust is also continuing to raise funds to support the vaccination programme. If you would like to help the charity with its work, you can donate via its website.