Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Government must listen to MPs and abandon badger cull

 26th Oct 2012

Feb Badgers Brian PhippsSomerset Wildlife Trust urges the Government to listen to Parliament after MPs backed a motion calling on the Government to abandon its planned badger cull.

It was announced on Tuesday that pilot culling schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset would be delayed until 2013, following a request from the farmers carrying out the cull.  Somerset Wildlife Trust continues to call on the Government to permanently scrap the cull and throw its weight behind better, lower risk, ways of tackling the disease

More than 163,000 people signed a petition opposing the cull

MPs voted by 147 to 28 in favour of the motion, which called for the cull to be stopped in favour of a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.  The vote followed a five and a half hour Parliamentary debate, triggered after more than 163,000 people signed a petition opposing the cull.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Scientists oppose the cull, the public opposes the cull and now MPs have voted against a cull.  It is time for the Government to listen and use the available alternatives to tackle bTB.  We are grateful to those MPs who took part in the debate today.  We hope that the Secretary of State’s early departure from the Commons Chamber today does not mean his mind is closed to this issue.

“A badger vaccine is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease.  In the longer term a cattle vaccine can play a very real part in helping deal with the problem and the Government should now be putting the effort into ensuring this vaccine can be deployed as soon as possible.”