Somerset Wildlife Trust is disappointed with today’s decision that confirms a badger cull trial will be going ahead in the county.
Somerset Wildlife Trust wants to see a long term solution to the problem of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB), and we agree with the conclusion reached by the Government’s own Independent Scientists Group (ISG), that culling badgers alone will not reduce the overall incidence of bTB in cattle, and may actually worsen the spread of disease.
The proposed trials are not designed to add any further evidence about whether culling badgers will reduce or increase the incidence of bTB in cattle, but rather aim to find out whether shooting free running badgers in the wild is an effective way of killing sufficiently large numbers of them.
Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive, Simon Nash, said: “In the absence of any other solution, we believe a badger bTB vaccination should be explored as the most effective short term way of tackling transmission of the disease between badgers and cattle, and we are calling on the Government to provide support to all landowners who wish to vaccinate badgers on their land. Badger vaccination alone is not the solution to bTB, but research has shown it to be a highly effective means of combating the disease in badgers, without any of the risks that are associated with culling.
“We plan to vaccinate badgers on any of our nature reserves that fall within the trial cull area, to ensure we play our part in controlling the reservoir of disease in badgers on our land. Some of our Nature Reserve Managers have recently attended training in the deployment of the badger vaccine.”