THE patron of Northumberland Wildlife Trust yesterday urged the Government not to press ahead with a cull of badgers as part of efforts to tackle TB in cattle.
Chris Packham, who is also a vice president of the RSPCA, has joined the animal welfare charity’s call for members of the public to write to their MPs to express their opposition to the proposed cull, which was unveiled by ministers last year.
The Government is expected to make an announcement in the coming days about whether to give the green light to culling badgers, which can spread TB to livestock, as part of a package of measures to tackle the disease in England.
Farmers have been calling for a cull amid rising rates of infection in herds, warning that the increase showed existing testing regimes and “biosecurity” measures to stop cattle coming into contact with badgers were not working.
But wildlife and animal welfare groups oppose the move.
Mr Packham said: “Badgers are fascinating creatures which I consider to be a quintessential part of our English countryside.
“Added to this their death would most likely be in vain as scientific studies suggest that culling them could increase the risk of transmission to bovine cattle rather than reduce it.”