Neston MP Opposes Government Plans for Badger Cull
|Published: 21st July 2011 09:14|
Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, has spoken out in support of badgers, branding government plans for culling as 'short sighted'.
This week the Government approved a package of measures to tackle bovine tuberculosis (TB), in a move that is largely supported by farmers, but is likely to trigger a backlash from supporters of animal rights.
Photo courtesy of League Against Cruel Sports
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said she was "strongly minded to allow a science-led cull of badgers in the worst affected areas".
However, Andrew Miller said: "All the evidence has shown that culling doesn't work. The Government's proposals do not deal with the problem of TB carried by badgers; their preferred option of ‘free shooting' is not supported by science and may increase the problem of spreading TB.
"Lord Krebs, the former UK government scientific adviser and the expert behind the UK's biggest review of the links between badgers and TB in cattle does not support culling as an effective way of controlling the disease and other experts, such as members of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on Cattle TB, also disagree with Defra and describe the policy as "untried and untested", claiming that farmers would lose out financially.
"I continue to support a science-led approach to dealing with bovine TB and believe that the only humane and viable option is a vaccination programme. I am therefore disappointed that Defra decided to cancel five out of the six trials that were being undertaken.
"Badgers are a protected species and many of my constituents have contacted me to oppose culling. I do not believe that the government's proposals will achieve their objective but they will leave many seriously injured badgers and open the door to a free for all on badger hunting.
"The League Against Cruel Sports is currently running a petition against the cull which already has over 15,000 signatures, if local people would like to support it it can be which can be found at: www.league.org.uk/badgerpetition."
Chris Neden of the Wirral & Cheshire Badger Group added: "We fully support the stand taken and would hope that the legal challenge to the Government's proposals will succeed, as did that against the culling proposals of the previous administration in Wales."