Case for continuing badger cull is questioned

WILDLIFE chiefs have expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to continue badger cull trials as a way of cutting tuberculosis rates in cattle.

WILDLIFE chiefs have expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to continue badger cull trials as a way of cutting tuberculosis rates in cattle.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust said to press ahead with such pilot schemes “ignores the main body of scientific evidence relating to culling, which shows that at best it is ineffective, and at worst can exacerbate the problem”.

While acknowledging the disease is a significant problem that causes hardship for many in the farming community trust chief executive Mike Pratt said the case for killing badgers had not yet been proven.

“This issue demands a scientific and practical approach,” he said. “And the rationale for, and practicality of, any cull of native species needs to be extremely clear and well proven. But in this case it is not.”

The Wildlife Trusts would like to see more trials of possible vaccines.

“The Government has promised to consider a range of methods, yet last year cut funding for vaccination trials,” said Mr Pratt. Badgers are an important part of our national fauna and the symbol of the Wildlife Trusts and are very much a protected species.

“So we are very concerned that the right decisions are made on the right basis.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer