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Cheshire Wildlife Trust Opposes 'Largest Ever' Badger Cull

Author: Rachel Bradshaw Published: 10th September 2020 09:39

Wildlife Trusts across the country have expressed dismay after hearing that the government has authorised as many as 64,000 badgers to be shot this autumn.

In Cheshire alone, licences have been issued for the killing of nearly 2500 of the wild animals.


The Trusts say that the move comes despite the government's promise just six months ago to phase out the current intensive culling policy in the next few years, gradually replacing it with government-supported badger vaccination and surveillance. The cull will result killing of healthy badgers and potentially those which have previously been vaccinated. Organisations such as the Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme, which Cheshire Wildlife Trust supports, offers badger vaccination to farmers and landowners in Cheshire, free of charge.

Martin Varley, Operations Manager for Cheshire Wildlife Trust said: "We work closely with many farmers and recognise the pain and hardship of those whose cattle herds have been devastated by bovine tuberculosis (bTB), but killing badgers will not solve the problem.

"The government has promised to incentivise the uptake of effective biosecurity measures, and manage the bTB risks posed by cattle movements, to reduce the risk of spread within and between farms. We would urge them to deliver on that commitment sooner rather than later to avoid further unnecessary suffering to animals."

Research has found that bTB bacteria can survive for months either on fields or in slurry. Strict biosecurity procedures are necessary to tackle this key route of the spread of bTB. Defra support to farmers to make sure these procedures and rigorous tests are in place would contribute considerably to reducing the spread of bTB between cattle and badgers.

bTB can have a devastating impact on the lives of farmers. The Wildlife Trusts continue to work with farmers to find solutions that work for everyone. Badger vaccination is cost-effective, and it works. It reduces the incidence, severity and long-term vulnerability of badger groups to the disease. If government strategy must focus on badgers, the Wildlife Trusts say that this approach offers a far more effective, cheaper and low-risk way to reduce bTB in badger populations.

The government has promised to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation. Continuing and expanding the badger cull runs counter to this promise and risks pushing one of our protected native species to the verge of local extinction.

The Wildlife Trusts call on the government to:

  • Halt the badger cull now
  • Invest in and promote a strategy for badger vaccination. This should be led and funded by the government, across England.
  • Invest more time and resource in further research into farm biosecurity and movement controls. We need to know what works.
  • Accelerate development of more effective tests for bTB in cattle and put serious investment into a bTB cattle vaccine. This is a cattle problem, not a wildlife problem.

For more information on the work carried out by Cheshire Wildlife Trust, visit the website here.


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At 21:08 on 10th September 2020, Steph commented:
Martin is right, killing a number of badgers won’t solve the problem but it will certainly go a long way to help solve the problem, we all need to be a bit more realistic and spare a thought for all the farmers who are struggling like everyone else to make a decent living for them selves and their families.
At 13:45 on 20th September 2020, poppy6 commented:
Well Steph! You really are wrong about this issue as all the science tell us. Slaughtering badgers will not 'go a long way to help solve the problem'. Dirty farming practices and better Btb tests and cattle transporters who get prosecuted for breaching Btb regs and keep their licence to transport cattle are all things that will solve the problem. Badger vaccinations are being done and then badgers are being shot, what is the sense in that? Shooters (and they are usually those who enjoy killing animals) are given £75 per head for killing ouor protected species and badgers are dying in agony and are NOT EVEN TESTED to see if the had tb when shot. This madness and barbarism has to stop "A new report claims the "virtual extermination" of badgers in the Republic of Ireland has failed to stop the spread of bovine TB."https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/14/top-scientists-say-badger-cull-will-not-reduce-cattle-tb_n_1964594.html?1350200233. The Facts are it is dirty farmers like the one below that are causing spread of Btb yet badgers are an easy scapegoat. Badgers are dying in agony for a futile and bloody cull that is not scientific whatsoever, shameful!!! How about this 'https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-51575312. This 'famer' was on the Btb eradication group that advises the Government, I rest my case!!!!!!!!!!
At 13:53 on 20th September 2020, poppy6 commented:
https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/cull https://farming.co.uk/news/cheshire-cattle-dealer-jailed-for-putting-national-herd-at-risk. Fined and allowed to carry on despite many many breaches!!!

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