Animal Aid


Posted 29 May 2009

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is reported to be backing a cull of badgers in the Westcountry, just one year after he publicly opposed slaughtering badgers in an attempt to eradicate bovine TB (bTB). Clegg is quoted in the Western Morning News as saying: ‘I think now the time has come that, irrespective of what scientists say, irrespective of what ministers say, in this part of the country let's at least just try out a pilot cull.’

Farmers have long blamed badgers for spreading bovine tuberculosis to cattle and resisted the idea that its own intensive rearing, breeding and transport practices are at the heart of the bTB problem. In fact, exhaustive research demonstrates that cattle movements ‘substantially and consistently outweigh’ all other factors in spreading bovine TB. The government-appointed Independent Scientific Group on bTB spent eight years evaluating the effects of badger culling on TB in cattle, which cost 11,000 badgers their lives and taxpayers £34 million. It concluded that, ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain’.

Since 1975, more than 30,000 badgers have been killed in an attempt to curb the disease. And despite virtually exterminating badgers from four counties in the Republic of Ireland, the incidence of TB there remains twice as high as in Britain.

Please contact Nick Clegg and ask him not to back slaughter of British wildlife to appease the farming lobby. Remind him that DEFRA’s public consultation about a badger cull received submissions from 47,000 respondents, ninety-five per cent of whom opposed a cull.

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