The UK Government have announced that there will be a badger cull beginning in June 2013 in Somerset, Gloucestershire and possibly Dorset, which could see badger populations decline by more than 70%. Many healthy badgers will be slaughtered.This is happening despite overwhelming scientific, public and political opinion against the cull.
Why is this happening?
Badgers are known carriers of Bovine TB, a disease that severely effects the dairy and meat industry.
However, many scientists do not support a cull of badgers and scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing the disease and could actually make things worse in some areas. After 10 years of research the Independent Scientific Group concluded in 2007 that 'badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.' More than 30 of the top animal disease experts describe the cull as a 'costly distraction' which will do more harm than good.
What is the solution?Some campaigners believe that there are more sustainable solutions to the problem of Bovine TB. The RSPCA believes that vaccination, increased testing and improved biosecurity are more effective ways of dealing with the problem long term.
What can I do to help?
- Sign the number 10 petition and encourage your friends to do the same
- Urge your MP and the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson to listen to scientific, public and political opinion
- Visit the RSPCA's 'Stop the Cull' website and download campaign materials like sample letters, posters, infographics and leaflets
- Join the Stop the Cull Facebook community for news and updates
- With the local council elections coming up on 2nd May, it's your chance to ask your local candidates where they stand on the badger cull issue so you can make an informed decision. Why not email them and ask them to clarify their position?
- Read the Guardian's article about Steve Jones, a farmer with 35 years livestock management experience who agrees the cull isn't the solution to eradicating bovine TB.
- Read the BBC article about Lord Krebs, a respected science adviser to the government,who calls the badger cull a 'crazy scheme'.
- The Welsh Government have decided not to procedure with a badger cull, choosing a vaccination program instead. Find out more here.
- Press Release: 'Badger Culls to go Ahead this Summer'