2 September 2013
A BADGER protection group in Lancashire has struck out at farmers and the Government following the beginning of a “shameful” cull of the animals.
The National Union of Farmers (NFU) yesterday confirmed a cull of badgers in Gloucestershire and West Somerset had begun.
Approximately 5,000 badgers will be shot at feeding stations over the next six weeks under pilot schemes in the two counties. Farmers and the Government insist culling is needed to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, or bovine TB, in cattle herds.
Jo Bates-Keegan, Chairman of Lancashire Badger Group, said: “Scientists continue to tell us badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to Bovine TB. The present scheme risks making TB worse due to perturbation — when infected badgers roam more widely because their stable territories have been broken down by culling. Should the government deem the scheme a success it will be rolled out over a further 40 areas and approximately 100,000 badgers would be killed to prevent the early slaughter of just 4,000 cattle. Lancashire Badger Group is sympathetic to the plight of farmers who have lost cattle and sometimes whole herds to bovine TB However we are absolutely convinced, as are the majority of the wildlife and conservation organisations in the country, that this badger cull will only be to the detriment of farmers and badgers.”