Farmers urged not to do Defra’s dirty work in badger cull
The League Against Cruel Sports is urging farmers to distance themselves from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) proposed badger culls following the announcement that two areas have been selected to pilot the controlled shooting of badgers.
Two locations in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset have been chosen where farmers and landowners can now apply for licenses allowing badgers to be shot on their land as part of proposals to prevent the spread of bovine TB. However the League is calling on farmers to boycott the culls on the grounds that theses unpopular trials will bring far more problems than benefits.
The League’s chief executive Joe Duckworth said: “This is a clear cut case of Defra making a bad decision and leaving farmers to do their dirty work. There is no doubt that the public will react strongly to badgers being shot on their own doorstep but Defra has cleverly distanced themselves from this leaving farmers to deal with any backlash”.
Culling will take place over a six week period in the autumn and will be paid for by farmers. The trials will test the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of controlled shooting of badgers. The League believes culling is not the solution to prevent the spread of bovine TB with evidence showing that culling can in fact increase the spread of the disease rather than curb it. Mr Duckworth added: “This decision is wrong on every level, not only will it have a devastating impact on badgers, which are being slaughtered needlessly but has huge cost implications for farmers and the police who will be left to deal with the consequences of this botched attempt to address the serious issue of bovine TB.”
Polling by YouGov for the League found that only 16% of people believe there should be a cull of badgers, whereas 67% - more then four times as many – believe they should be vaccinated instead. Members of the public are being encouraged to respond to a Natural England consultation with communities in cull areas.
Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) with any queries, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.