Badger culling back on agenda



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Northumberland Wildlife Trust will continue to push for badger culling to be dropped from the Government’s bovine TB strategy.

The vow comes as plans to continue, and extend, badger culling are expected.

The UK’s Wildlife Trust movement has launched an appeal aimed at the Prime Minister to bolster support for alternatives.

It has asked David Cameron, via an e-action petition, to drop the Government’s failed badger cull policy and develop an alternative strategy for tackling bovine tuberculosis (BTB).

Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive, said: “An e-action has been launched to ensure the Prime Minister feels the weight of serious public concern that any plans for continued and extended culling will make matters worse. The Government must take a long, hard look at its policy and drop the failed culling approach to effectively tackle this disease. The justification to continue, and further extend, culling in other counties will be totally unacceptable.

“If the badger culls are to re-start this summer, it will reinforce serious unease that lessons are not being learned; that the basic facts and strong public opinion are falling on deaf ears with what can only be dire consequences. Northubmerland Wildlife Trust will continue to push for badger culling to be dropped from the Government’s bTB strategy. It must prioritise badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine.

Mike added: “Earlier this month, MPs overwhelmingly backed a motion calling on the Government to drop culling. They listened to the views of the public, took into account the facts and backed alternatives. It is long overdue for the Government to do the same.”