Back off Badgers
Badgers are under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales,it is against the law to:
Cruelly mistreat a badger.
Dig for a badger.
Intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy a badger sett – or obstruct access to it.
Cause a dog to enter a badger sett.
Disturb a badger when it is occupying a sett.
But the protection is not absolute – there are exceptions. Licences to undertake some actions can be issued if it is justified.
Devastating news that, following years of contentious debate, the government confirmed that it will go ahead with a pilot badger cull in two areas of England in 2012.
Announcement of pilot badger culls
The general locations of the pilot culls have been announced and are in the districts of West Somerset/Taunton Deaneand in the Forest of Dean/Tewkesbury area.
The announcement comes despite scientific studies which have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing the disease, and could actually make things worse in some areas. And amid fierce opposition from the public as a 100,000 strong petition was delivered to the government in October to protest the plans.
Alarmingly, the culls could see populations decline by more than 70 per cent, and as the cull cannot be selective, many badgers killed will be healthy animals. The culls will involve issuing licences for the free shooting of badgers and there are no details as to how such culls will be monitored, which is a further cause for concern.
More effective ways to combat bovine TB for good
The proposals are part of a package of measures aimed at controlling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. But eminent scientists, animal welfare experts and high-profile figures such as Sir David Attenborough all believe that a cull is not the way to tackle these problems.
We think that the following are more effective ways of dealing with the problem in the long term and eradicating bovine TB in cattle for good:
- vaccination of badgers
- increased levels of testing
- improved biosecurity and stricter controls on the movement of cattle.
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