Liberal Democrats Call for Trial Badger Cull not to happen in Gloucestershire

January 10, 2012 3:38 PM

BadgerThe Liberal Democrat Group on Gloucestershire County Council will at full council this month call for a letter to be written to the Environment Secretary urging the Government to prioritise vaccinations over any badger cull.

The Secretary of State in December announced the go ahead for controlled culling of badgers as part of the package of measures to tackle bovine TB (bTB). The approach which will be piloted in two yet to be determined areas this Autumn has also been condemned by the Liberal Democrat Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood.

Councillor Simon Wheeler (LD, Hester's Way and Up Hatherley) said "Badger culling has been tried many times over the last 30 years and it has failed to prove its ability to reduce levels of bovine TB. In the past two years, improved cattle testing, biosecurity and movement controls in England have led to a 15% reduction in the rates of bovine TB, this, without a single badger being culled. We welcome the extra £250,000 each year for vaccinations, but cannot support yet another trial that makes no meaningful and long term contribution to the reduction of bovine TB."

Councillor Klara Sudbury (LD, All Saints) said "I believe this cull will contribute little or nothing to the long-term goal of eradicating TB nationally. Instead, it will unnecessarily wipe out huge numbers of this much-loved animal."

The motion will be proposed and debated at Shire Hall on Wednesday 18th January 2012.

ENDS

Notes:

Motion - "This Council is aware of the hardship that bovine TB (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find a solution to control the disease. However the council does not believe that a pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire will provide a scientific evaluation of the impact on bovine TB (bTB) and therefore does not support such a trial. This Council therefore resolves to write without delay to the Environment Secretary welcoming the extra £250,000 each year for vaccinations, but urging the Government to prioritise the badger bovine TB vaccine and support landowners in improving on-farm biosecurity over any badger cull."