Badger cull ‘is political poison’ poll reveals 5th most common complaint to MPs



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Prior to Major Party Conference Debate, Wildlife Charities Call on Labour Party to Oppose the Cull in its Manifesto

The badger cull has become a hugely controversial issue in Westminster with a new poll from MORI confirming that it is the fifth most common issue of complaint to MPs from constituents in the last twelve months, ranking above issues such as pensions, child care and taxes.

Twenty five anti-cull marches have been held in towns and cities across England in the last twelve months, from London to Manchester and Bristol to Leeds. These events have brought together tens of thousands of people and generated a huge amount of media and political interest.

As the Badger Trust wins the right to take its legal challenge on the lack of independent monitoring of the badger culls to the Court of Appeal, it will be joining with Care for the Wild to host a major debate on the badger cull policy at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 22 September

The debate, to be chaired by the Labour MP and Deputy Speaker Dawn Primarolo, features a panel including the Shadow Animal Welfare Minister Angela Smith MP; CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor Care for Wild, Dominic Dyer; member of the Independent Expert Panel for the cull, Professor Tim Coulson and dairy farmer Phil Latham.

Speaking in advance of the event, Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust and Care for the Wild said:

“The badger cull is political poison in Westminster. The MORI poll confirms that MPs from all parties are being inundated with complaints from constituents calling for it to end. We will therefore be seeking confirmation at the Labour Party Conference that its Manifesto for 2015 will contain a clear commitment to halt all further badger culling, including the pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset which are due to return in 2015.

“Wildlife protection is now a key political issue in the UK and millions of voters want a clear choice on the badger cull issue at the next election. By pledging in its Manifesto to stop badger culling and pursue a bovine TB reduction policy based on cattle based measures, backed up by badger and cattle vaccination against TB, the Labour Party will be providing this choice.”