Ahead of a House of Commons debate on Thursday 25 October, Dorset Wildlife Trust is urging the Government to heed expert opinion and public feeling and call a halt to the imminent pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset. DWT and Wildlife Trusts across the country say that the cull will not be an effective solution to the problem of Bovine TB.
Vote against a cull and to support cattle vaccination
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister earlier this month, The Wildlife Trusts’ President Simon King OBE urged David Cameron to ‘withdraw the controlled shooting licences, help farmers with improved biosecurity, commit to a badger vaccination strategy and push for changes to allow the cattle vaccine’ in order to ‘get on top of this disease in an effective way’.
Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “We are writing today to all Dorset MPs urging them to vote against a cull and to support cattle vaccination, which will be the long term solution for farming and wildlife. We continue to press the Government to demonstrate much greater commitment to push the EU to change the rules to allow a cattle vaccine to be deployed, once development is complete.”
Work together to confront this disease
Dorset is one of twelve Wildlife Trusts working on badger vaccination programmes as already being undertaken by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Initial results regarding the practicalities of vaccination demonstrate it to be an affordable and viable alternative to culling. DWT plans to start vaccination of badgers on its reserves in any cull zones that may be announced for Dorset.
The Wildlife Trusts strongly urge the farming community, conservation organisations and the Government to continue to work together to confront this disease through 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. DWT also urges Defra to develop a comprehensive vaccination strategy and continue 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.
People can write to their MPs ahead of Thursday’s debate in the House of Commons
Dr Cripps added: “People can write to their MPs ahead of Thursday’s debate in the House of Commons and we would also urge them to write or email to their MEP to ask them to press for the EU ban on a cattle vaccine to be lifted. A vaccination for cattle is the way to deal with this disease effectively, which is what conservationists, farmers and the public want to see in the long term.”
For more information about Dorset Wildlife Trust’s badger vaccination plans, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/badgers
Or visit www.writetothem.com to email your MP directly.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Simon Cripps at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 07500 104759 or Imogen Davenport on 01305 264620.
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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.