Anger as badger cull extended to Staffordshire
A wildlife group has expressed ‘extreme dismay’ after proposals to extend badger culling to Staffordshire were approved.
Culling is now taking place in 32 areas across 10 counties – Stafordshire, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Cumbria.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has criticised the plans. The trust has been running a campaign against the proposed cull.
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As a result of this major expansion, 40,892 badgers could be killed by the end of the year, more than during the last five years of the badger cull combined.
Julian Woolford, chief executive at the wildlife trust, said: “It is unacceptable that the government has not waited for the results of their own review – which we understand is to be published imminently – before forging ahead with another year of ineffective and expensive badger culling.
“The badger cull is a dangerous distraction from addressing the main route of bTB transmission in cattle which is between cattle.”
Ellie Brodie, senior policy manager at The Wildlife Trusts said: “The Wildlife Trusts have been involved in this debate for over 10 years. In 2008 we successfully persuaded the Labour Government not to go ahead with a badger cull.
"In 2012 we helped stop the initial badger cull pilot in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Simultaneously, we have led the way in demonstrating that badger vaccination would be a far more effective route, accompanied with strict biosecurity controls, movement controls and robust cattle testing regimes.
“We’re calling on the Government to invest in medicine, not marksmen.
"The costs of killing badgers are much higher than vaccinating them – it costs £496.51 to kill a badger compared with £82 to vaccinate a badger.”