Scientific evidence has proved the culling of badgers is ineffective in fighting bovine tuberculosis among cattle
This year’s badger cull is set to be the largest yet.
Scientific evidence has proved the culling of badgers is ineffective in fighting bovine tuberculosis among cattle.
It’s time for the UK Government to deliver on its commitment and fast track the transition from badger culling to vaccination in England.
The main cause of bovine TB, an infectious disease that affects cattle, is from cattle to cattle transmission. Badgers are not the main culprit.
Instead of badger culling, we want the Government to:
- Develop and deliver a badger vaccination strategy
- Roll out a cattle vaccine
- Improve testing of cattle for bTB and limit the movement of cattle across the country
- Ensure higher standards of biosecurity on farms to prevent the spread of bTB
Earlier this year, Defra launched a public consultation on proposals to help eradicate bTB in England.
More than 40,000 people responded to the consultation asking the Government not to grant any new intensive badger cull licenses, and instead prioritise vaccinations.
Despite overwhelming public opposition to the badger cull, the Government granted seven more licences this year.
We want the Government to follow the scientific evidence, by prioritising vaccinations and ending culling.
Why are we doing this?
For the past decade, Wildlife Trusts have been undertaking badger vaccination programmes on our nature reserves and in the wider countryside in partnership with vets, farmers, and landowners. For example, more than 1,000 badgers have been vaccinated by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to date.
But with 140,000 badgers already culled, and the possibility of that total reaching 200,000 by the end of the year, the Government needs to support badger vaccination on a much larger scale by developing and delivering a badger vaccination strategy.
We need MPs to carry the message to the Environment Secretary George Eustice MP that the public wants the Government to fast track its transition from culling to vaccinating.
Use our template email to write your MP and ask them to speak up for you in Parliament. You can add your own comments to the email. The more you personalise it, the more likely your MP is to take notice.
Bovine TB is not widespread in Cumbria. A ‘hotspot’ area was declared in east Cumbria during 2016 (HS21) and culling has now stopped here. Investigations concluded that this was most likely introduced by cattle imported from Northern Ireland. Cumbria Wildlife Trust is calling for badger and cattle vaccination and improved testing, as well as better biosecurity on farms, so that our badgers are less at risk of imported bovine TB in the future.