badgers - cheshire wildlife trust autumn watch

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has blasted a Government move to allow what they say is the largest ever seasonal cull of badgers.

The move could see nearly 2,500 badgers in Cheshire alone being killed this Autumn, the trust says.

In total, it’s feared 64,000 badgers across the UK will be culled.

The trust says the Government had pledged just six months ago to phase out the current intensive culling policy, gradually replacing it with government-supported badger vaccination and surveillance.

Organisations such as the Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme, which Cheshire Wildlife Trust supports, offers badger vaccination to farmers and landowners in Cheshire free of charge.

Martin Varley, Operations Manager for Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We work closely with many farmers and recognise the pain and hardship of those whose cattle herds have been devastated by bovine tuberculosis (bTB), but killing badgers will not solve the problem.

“The government has promised to incentivise the uptake of effective biosecurity measures, and manage the bTB risks posed by cattle movements, to reduce the risk of spread within and between farms.

“We would urge them to deliver on that commitment sooner rather than later to avoid further unnecessary suffering to animals.”

Research has found that bTB bacteria can survive for months either on fields or in slurry, says the Trust.

And it believes strict biosecurity procedures are necessary to tackle this key route of the spread of bTB.

“bTB can have a devastating impact on the lives of farmers.

“The Wildlife Trusts continue to work with farmers to find solutions that work for everyone.

“Badger vaccination is cost-effective, and it works.

“It reduces the incidence, severity and long-term vulnerability of badger groups to the disease.

“If government strategy must focus on badgers, this approach offers a far more effective, cheaper and low-risk way to reduce bTB in badger populations.

“The government has promised to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation.

“Continuing and expanding the badger cull runs counter to this promise and risks pushing one of our protected native species to the verge of local extinction.”

The Wildlife Trusts call on the government to halt the badger cull, invest in and promote a strategy for badger vaccination, invest more time and resource in further research into farm biosecurity and movement controls, and accelerate development of more effective tests for bTB in cattle.

One Comment

  1. Barbara Walker says:

    Please stop killing the badgers. Find another way of stopping the TB. Its an awful disease.

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