Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) condemns a potential badger cull in the county, announced by Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson MP, as a reserve pilot cull area in case of problems with either of the proposed cull areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset. DWT is keen to find an effective, long term solution to the problem of Bovine TB (bTB), but urges the Government to put more effort into an effective vaccine instead of a cull.
Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust, said:
“We have a great deal of sympathy for farmers who lose stock as a result of bTB and are acutely aware of the problems this disease causes in Dorset. However a badger cull is not the answer and is likely to make the problem worse by spreading the disease onto farms previously unaffected.”
Dorset Wildlife Trust believes bTB should be tackled on multiple fronts, including vaccines for badgers and cattle and use of all possible biosecurity measures to prevent transmission between cattle.
The proposed cull area for Dorset is kept a secret. DWT will not allow badger culling on its nature reserves and is currently preparing plans to vaccinate badgers, using an injectable vaccine as trialled by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Dorset Wildlife Trust calls on the Government to develop the bTB vaccine for cattle and ensure its acceptance by the European Union.
For more information about plans to vaccinate badgers in Dorset, click here.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Simon Cripps at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620 or 07500 104759.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
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Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK. This includes over £411 million to more than 2,600 projects across the South West. Website: www.hlf.org.uk .