Derbyshire Wildlife Trust seeks public help to end badger culling licences ‘immediately’

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are calling on the public to respond to a Government consultation and help end badger cull licences with ‘immediate effect’.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:40 pm

The Government launched a public consultation in January on proposals to phase out the culling of wild animals, in favour of vaccinating badgers and cattle against bovine TB, alongside cattle disease control measures.

Subject to final approval following the consultation, the plans include putting a stop to new mass badger cull licences being granted after 2022 – however the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust say this could still result in another 130,000 badgers being killed over the next four years.

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The Wildlife Trusts have always been firmly opposed to the badger cull and believe that it is an ineffective tool in the fight against bovine tuberculosis (bTB)

The Trust is urging the public to respond to the consultation before it ends on March 24, in an effort to help end the killing of badgers which are a protected species.

Jo Smith, Chief Executive at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said: “There is much confusion in the public domain about the Government proposals to end the badger cull. Recent media headlines stated that the cull would end in 2022 but the reality is that badger culling will continue until 2026. This is because the majority of cull licences last four years.”

Based on their analysis of the consultation, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are calling on the Government stop issuing badger cull licences immediately which it says “will bring an end to the badger cull sooner than proposed, saving tens of thousands of badgers.”

The Trust is also calling for the implementation of a cattle vaccine “to reduce bovine TB in the cattle population” and measures to prevent infection spread from cattle to cattle, as well as a review on how cattle are transported around the country and a fast track the transition from culling to badger vaccination.

It says that in the High Risk Areas for bovine TB in the South West and West, the end of many years of badger culling may now be in sight, but in counties such as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, the proposals could lead to a rush in applications for badger cull licences that will run for at least four years.

To have you say on the Government’s consultation, visit the stand up for badgers page here before March 24.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.