Petition launched calling for an end to the badger cull and misleading advice from Government
Tuesday 30th August 2016
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is supporting an online petition initiated by The Wildlife Trusts’ President Emeritus, Simon King OBE, calling for the withdrawal of licences that have been issued by Government to cull badgers, particularly in Dorset. Badger culling is a deeply flawed method for controlling the spread of the devastating bTB (bovine tuberculosis) disease in cattle.
The wildlife conservation charity, which has its own herd of cattle in west Dorset, believes that alternative methods such as badger vaccination in the short-term, implementing effective bio-security on farms, and in the long-term vaccinating cattle, are viable alternatives to culling badgers. Killing badgers is a huge waste of public money. In Gloucestershire and Somerset alone policing costs were more than £4.9 million per year for a method that has been scientifically shown to be unlikely to make any useful contribution to reducing bTB in cattle, and may well increase the incidence of infection.
DWT has started vaccinating badgers
DWT has already started a vaccination programme on its nature reserves in areas which are close to its livestock in west Dorset and is concerned at the prospects of disturbance to badger populations that culling is known to bring, resulting in possible further spread of bTB in the area.
Culling badgers is not the way to solve the problem
DWT Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps said, “As owners of livestock ourselves, we have every sympathy with farmers who lose cattle as a result of bovine tuberculosis, however culling badgers is not the way to solve this problem and the Government know it. Dorset’s wildlife and our county’s farmers are both too important for Government to be issuing this wrong and ill-conceived advice, and so deserve better. Not only is Government not giving advice based on sound, credible science, they are building up expectations that this could succeed and causing serious divisions within communities.”
Stop wasting public money on something that performs no public service
Simon continues, “Through the petition we are calling on Government to stick to evidence-based decisions, to stop wasting public money on something that performs no public service, and to give genuine support to the farming industry and wildlife by implementing a cattle vaccine (cattle are already vaccinated for up to 16 other diseases*) and associated trade agreements just as other countries have done. There is overwhelming support from rural and urban communities for stopping this cull and the bad advice that needlessly perpetuates it.”
Sign the online petition today
The online petition asks Government to stop expanding the badger cull across the county. DWT is urging as many people as possible to sign it, sending a strong message that this is no longer acceptable. To sign it click here. To find out more about badger vaccination in Dorset, visit our badger information page.
*Source on cattle vaccinations: National Office of Animal Health. Cattle in the UK routinely receive vaccinations for the following diseases: Blackleg, tenatus, ‘husk’ (lungworm disease), rotavirus, infectious bovine rhinotracheictis (IBR), respiratory syncytial virus, pasteurellosis, enteritis, leptospirosis, mastitis, ringworm, BVD, P13, coronavirus, salmonella, E Coli.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620 or 07436158325.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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.
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