The badger cull
The badger culls are part of government efforts to tackle the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) amongst cattle.
Extensive, prolonged and peer-reviewed research (the Randomised Badger Culling Trial that killed 11,000 badgers) concluded in 2007 that cattle-based measures of disease control were essential to control the problem.
It also concluded that although badgers were implicated, culling them would make no meaningful contribution to TB control in cattle.
However, successive governments in Britain have failed to implement the necessary cattle-based measures which are unpopular with farmers for many reasons. As a result, the incidence of bTB has increased.
The story is different in Wales where, during the last four years, wider and more effective applications of annual cattle testing, improved cattle movement controls and improvements in farm biosecurity have recently seen real reductions in the disease in cattle.
Despite this, and the evidence that the trials have proved to be inhumane and ineffective, the Government has continued with the four-year badger culling trials in Somerset and Gloucestershire that started in 2013 and rolled out to Dorset in 2015. More areas are planned for 2016 and 2017 that could include Cornwall, Devon, further areas of Somerset and Dorset, Wiltshire, North Cotswold, Herefordshire and Cheshire.
This will result in thousands more badgers being killed unnecessarily – potentially some 130,000 individuals, approximately a third of the entire British badger population.
Public polls have consistently shown that over 80% of the public are against the badger culls, which have proved to be inhumane, ineffective and very expensive for taxpayers. This genuine concern for badgers, one of our most iconic British mammals, has seen people from all walks of life getting together to exercise their democratic right to protest, sending a strong message to Government that badger culling is not the answer nor is it acceptable in a modern society.
We urge you to get involved, stand up for British wildlife and help stop this senseless killing.