(Above) Badgers by Wildstock (below) DWT badger vaccination both by Sam Stewart
Following the announcement made by MP Owen Paterson, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is pleased that the Government’s badger culling policy is not currently being rolled out to further areas in the UK, including Dorset.
The failure of the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, which were met with strong public opposition, has strengthened the need to explore alternatives to badger culling. In March, a debate in the House of Commons saw 219 MPs vote in favour of the Government to drop culling, with only one who voted against the motion.
There are more effective and reliable ways to control bTB
DWT wants to see the eradication of the devastating disease Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) and understands the serious implications for farmers who lose stock as a result, but believes there are more effective and reliable ways of controlling the disease, such as better biosecurity, badger vaccination and, in the long term, cattle vaccination.
Scientific study concludes: culling can make no meaningful difference
DWT’s Director of Conservation, Imogen Davenport, said: “Dorset Wildlife Trust does not view this as a victory and is very sympathetic to farmers who suffer as a result of the devastating Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) disease. However scientific study has concluded that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to control of bTB in cattle. We believe that there are alternative ways to control the disease and we welcome Defra’s announcements in relation to these measures.”
DWT is reliant on public support to continue badger vaccination
Despite DWT’s successful appeal, more funds are needed to cover the costs of the five-year vaccination programme. We are reliant on public support for this. To donate from a mobile, simply text BADG13 and £(amount) to 70070, or you can find more information and donate online by clicking here.
Sign the e-petition
An e-action petition has also been launched by the Wildlife Trusts, asking the Government to drop the badger cull policy and develop an alternative strategy for tackling bTB. To sign the petition, click here.
Notes to Editor
Last year’s badger cull in Somerset saw just 65% of the badger population removed in a nine week period, when the cull aimed to remove at least 70% in six weeks. In Gloucestershire only 39% were removed in eleven weeks. Dorset was listed as a reserve area for the cull.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Follow us on Twitter @dorsetwildlife and facebook.com/dorsetwildlife
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.