Latest news on the badger cull
We were saddened to hear that the government has given permission for badger culls to go ahead in England for another year. Badgers are now at risk in Staffordshire and Cumbria, in addition to the existing areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Wiltshire.
You can help by becoming an advocate for badgers. There are lots of ways you can take action for badgers, including contacting your local MP using this link. Click the button below to read the scientific evidence that demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and, worse still, actually risks making the problem worse.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust opposes the government’s badger-culling programme because our charity is committed to protecting wildlife and makes decisions on conservation land management based on the best available scientific information. There is robust evidence that culling badgers will make the problem worse.
We support all scientifically valid measures for tackling bovine TB in cattle and wildlife.
We also recognise the devastating impact that bovine TB has on farmers and rural communities, and Lancashire’s farmers are crucial allies in our work to conserve a wide range of threatened habitats and species, from ponds to wildflower meadows and from brown hares to purple ramping-fumitory.
All Wildlife Trusts are firmly opposed to the proposed badger cull. Licences have already been issued that allowed and will allow badger-culling in southwest England, Derbyshire and Cheshire.
Our views and solutions
We believe that the problem is bovine TB (not badgers) and the challenge is to control the disease. We suggest tackling the disease should therefore include the following measures:
Biosecurity: All possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm.
Badger vaccination: Support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. We also urge urge the Government’s Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to continue the development of an oral badger vaccine.
Cattle vaccine: Complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.
The Wildlife Trusts believe the cull will make Bovine TB worse. Badgers typically live in social groups of four to seven animals with defined territorial boundaries. Culling disrupts the organisation of these social groups, increasing the risks of disease transmission, known as the perturbation effect.
The huge and passionate amount of support on this issue from both our members and the general public has already ensured the debate continues to feature prominently and that pressure is applied on those in power. There are many ways YOU can continue to make YOUR voice heard on this matter:
- E-mail your local MP about the cull
- Support the Wildlife Trusts’ vaccination programme
- E-mail our MEPs for North West England about lifting the EU ban on cattle vaccination for bovine TB
The recent e-petition against expanding the culls highlights how passionately the public feels about this issue. Continued pressure on the Government can make a difference.
You can find more information on the Wildlife Trusts’ position on the badger cull, and the solutions we offer, here.
If you’d like more information on the science behind the whole debate, then you can click here.