Somerset Wildlife Trust

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 Badger cull news updates

09/02/17 The Wildlife Trust's views on Defra's plans for the badger cull

The Wildlife Trusts’ submission developed in response to Defra's consultation entitled 'Bovine TB: Supplementary badger disease control'. Read more here

30/08/16 New badger cull petition launched on government website

The Wildlife Trusts’ President Emeritus and SWT's Patron, Simon King OBE, launched a new e-petition on the Government website calling for an end to the badger cull and no expansion of the cull to new areas. Read more here

23/08/16 - New badger cull imminent: The Wildlife Trusts call for end to flawed policy 

The Wildlife Trusts will oppose any decision by Natural England to grant new licences for culling badgers and will call on the Government and the newly appointed Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, to overrule and reverse this decision immediately. Read more here

17/12/15 - The Wildlife Trusts urge Government to drop the cull and focus on vaccination and securing badger BCG supplies

The Government today announced that it is suspending the sourcing of BCG vaccine for English badger vaccination schemes, that the 2015 badger culls were ‘successful in meeting their targets’ and confirmed it wants to see ‘badger control over a wider number of areas next year’, issuing new guidance to Natural England that significantly relaxes the current badger culling licence criteria. Read more here.

11/08/15 - Somerset Wildlife Trust opposes badger cull

Somerset Wildlife Trust is taking part in a protest march against the Government’s badger cull and calling upon its 18,000-strong membership to join them. Read more here.

18/12/14  - Pilot cull results  published for 2014

The results of the second year of badger culling have been released by Defra today (18 Dec).

Read the report here.

In Somerset, the very low target was just met with 341 badgers culled (the target was 316 - 785) but in Gloucestershire, just 274 were removed (with a target of 615 - 1,091).  

09/09/14 - Badger culling starts for the second year

Somerset Wildlife Trust is firmly opposed to the Government’s badger culls which have started in Somerset and Gloucestershire for the second year. Read more here.

03/04/14 - Badger culling to continue

Somerset Wildlife Trust today express deep disappointment that badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire will resume this year. Read more here.

24/03/14 - Drop the cull: the problem is bovineTB not badgers

Despite strong public opposition, a string of Government failures and MP recognition that an alternative strategy to deal with bovineTB is needed, plans to continue - and extend - badger culling - are expected this week. The Wildlife Trusts today launch an appeal aimed at the Prime Minister to bolster support for alternatives. Read more here.

14/03/14 - MPs vote en masse to drop the cull

MPs today overwhelmingly backed a motion calling on the Government to drop culling and instead vaccinate badgers. Read more here.

11/02/14 - Badgers and bovineTB: Why the Government’s policy needs to change

Badger culling must be dropped from Government plans and priority given to a strategic vaccination programme. Read more here.

05/11/13 - Pilot badger culls fail

Results from the extended pilot badger cull in Somerset - out today - confirm a complete failure to meet required targets and should lead the Government to abandon its culling policy. Read more here.

24/10/13 - Pilot badger culls extending with no scientific justification

Natural England yesterday (23/10) announced it will be extending the badger cull in Gloucestershire. The Wildlife Trusts believe that the granting of extensions to licences to cull is simply not justifiable. Read more here.

09/10/13 - Government must drop badger culling policy

With an extension period now under consideration for the pilot badger cull in Somerset, The Wildlife Trusts believe the failure to meet required targets should lead the Government to abandon its culling policy.  Read more here.

08/10/13 - Six week cull trial

Despite strenuous on-going efforts to halt the Government’s badger cull, through lobbying nationally and within Somerset, the cull started on the evening of August 26 and ran for six weeks in west Somerset. More information here.


26/08/2013 - Badger cull underway

As the first shots of the badger cull are reported in West Somerset, Somerset Wildlife Trust warns that culling is a tragic distraction to tackling a devastating disease. More information here.


No winners in badger cull vote

June 6: The results of the Opposition debate - calling on the Government to stop the cull of badgers - were not a surprise as there was a three line whip.  MPs voted in favour of a badger cull by 298 votes to 237.  In October 2012 in a free vote MPs voted against a badger cull. Read our response.


Final authorisation of badger control licences in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset

Feb 27: Natural England has today confirmed that all criteria have been met to allow control of badgers to begin in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.

Read the Natural England announcement

Read the Wildlife Trust's response.

Colleagues at Dorset Wildlife Trust, which has been named as a reserve pilot area, issued this statement.