Opposition Day Debate on Badger Culling



Dear All,

As you may already know, the Labour Party has announced it will table an Opposition Day debate on Wednesday 5th June 2013 on the plans for a badger cull which the Government believe will have a significant impact on the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. The wording for the motion reads: “This House believes the badger cull should not go ahead”. The debate will last for either 3 or 6 hours and the earliest it will start is 12.30 p.m. after Prime Minister’s Questions.

We have already asked that people write (e-mail) to their MP and/or the Prime Minister in advance of the debate, stating in their own words the views they hold on the proposed pilot trials. The licences to cull badgers in two areas are valid from today, 1st June 2013, and many badgers in parts of Gloucestershire and West Somerset will face death from shooting while they are foraging. They will be shot by marksmen armed with high-powered rifles fitted with silencers and night sights. The shooting area will be pre-baited for a few days beforehand to encourage the badgers to forage at that point. It is not known when the culling will commence as that information has not been released, the only certain knowledge is that it can happen at any time between 1st June 2013 and 31st January 2014. The sole purpose of these two pilot trials is to test the humaneness, efficacy and safety of the free-shooting of badgers. If deemed successful, the slaughter of badgers will be rolled out in 10 further areas per year for the next four years in so-called TB hotspot areas. Thousands and thousands of badgers will die an unnecessary death.

If you are able to get to London on 5th June 2013, there is one further action you can take to influence the situation. Anyone eligible to vote has the democratic right to go to Central Lobby in Westminster in order to lobby their MP to represent their views in Parliament. There is no need to forewarn your MP although it might be sensible to do so to ensure he/she will be there. Please go there during Wednesday morning at whatever time suits you, to join many others who also wish to speak to their MP in advance of the debate.

Please forward this note to others not on our circulation list but who may like to know what to do to make their views heard. Many thanks for your continued help to Badger Trust in our long-standing battle to protect badgers in all parts of the UK.

Best wishes,
Pat Hayden
Vice Chairman.