Dorset Wildlife Trust urges the Government to listen to Parliament after MPs backed a motion calling on the Government to abandon its planned badger cull.
It was announced on Tuesday that pilot culling schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset would be delayed until 2013, following a request from the farmers carrying out the cull. Dorset Wildlife Trust continues to call on the Government to permanently scrap the cull and throw its weight behind better, lower risk, ways of tackling the disease. MPs voted by 147 to 28 in favour of the motion, which called for the cull to be stopped in favour of a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity. The vote followed a five and a half hour Parliamentary debate, triggered after more than 163,000 people signed a petition opposing the cull.
It is time for the Government to listen
Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Scientists oppose the cull, the public opposes the cull and now MPs have voted against a cull. It is time for the Government to listen and use the available alternatives to tackle bTB. We are grateful to those MPs who took part in the debate today.We hope that the Secretary of State’s early departure from the Commons Chamber today does not mean his mind is closed to this issue.
“A badger vaccine is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease. In the longer term a cattle vaccine can play a very real part in helping deal with the problem and the Government should now be putting the effort into ensuring this vaccine can be deployed as soon as possible.”
A cull is predicted to reduce bTB by only 16% at best, and could make it worse.
Imogen Davenport, Director of Conservation at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “We are acutely aware of the hardship that bTB causes to farmers and we all want a solution to the problem. However we do not believe culling badgers is the answer. A cull is predicted to reduce bTB by only 16% at best, and could make it worse.”
Dorset is one of twelve Wildlife Trusts working on badger vaccination programmes as already being undertaken by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. For more information about Dorset Wildlife Trust’s badger vaccination plans, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/vaccination
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Imogen Davenport at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
For our latest news RSS feed, see /c2/rss/dwt_latest_news.xml
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.