Badgers could soon be wiped out across parts of the country
A leading animal group has condemned plans to introduce the 'culling' of badgers in parts of England to fight the spread of bovine TB. This despite the largest ever study into the disease saying it would be “meaningless *.
The group has also attacked what it describes as an anarchic and uncoordinated approach to countryside management, with the new Defra secretary, Caroline Spelman ruling out 'culling' until she had reviewed the science. Meanwhile, Farming Minister Jim Paice confirmed today, at the Devon County Show, a co-ordinated 'cull' across Devon and Cornwall. Viva! has pledged to fight the plans**.
Viva! campaign manager Justin Kerswell said: “Can anyone trust the policy of a new government that cannot even co-ordinate its own opinions' The ink is hardly dry on the coalition pact, and ministers already have blood lust in their eyes. The focus of their misplaced ire is the humble badger.
“Dancing to the drums of the farming community, this new coalition government could be heading down a colossal cul-de-sac. The science is overwhelming that killing badgers will not halt the spread of bovine TB, but what it will do is decimate one of our most iconic wild animals. The ludicrousness of it all would be funny were it not for the fact that so much blood will be spilled on the altar of rural stupidity.
“If badger 'culling' goes ahead in England there is going to be a huge consumer backlash against both the new government and the dairy industry. The public is increasingly aware that killing badgers is meaningless, and masks the real reasons for the spread of the disease - political and rural ineptitude, cattle movements and insufficient TB testing. The farming community has had years to address their own failings, but instead is demanding their pound of badger flesh. It will quite simply be a disaster.
Notes for editors
* The Independent Scientific Group (ISG) conducted a ten year study on bovine TB.
** A Facebook group has just been set up: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-English-badger-cull/115370121837897
Read Viva!'s fully referenced fact sheet at http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/badgers/factsheet.htm
Viva! has been campaigning against 'culling' proposals since June 2008, when a trial 'cull' was announced in Wales. This has included a National Rally for Badgers, when over 300 people gathered peacefully on the steps of the Welsh Assembly's Debating Rooms to voice objection.
For more information about this media release, contact press officer Helen Rossiter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0117 944 1000 or contacting campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell on the same number or by emailing email@example.com. Call the out-of-hours media mobile on 0794 453 3021.