Trust calls for badger cull to be halted

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has expressed deep concern after it was confirmed an area in Staffordshire has been included in the expansion of the badger cull.

Proposals to extend licensed badger culling in the county have been approved by Natural England. The news comes just a year after it was announced the badger cull was being extended into Staffordshire. Government data showed that 3,979 badgers were killed in the county in 2018.

The Trust believes culling badgers is not the answer and are passionate in our campaign to oppose the cull. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is very conscious of the hardship that bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer.

New research, based on official data and produced by a group of leading vets and academics, shows that confirmed incidents of bovine TB in the Gloucestershire, the original culling pilot area where culling started six years ago, rose by 130% in 2018 compared with the previous year.

Jeff Sim, Senior Conservation Manager from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said, ‘bTB is a terrible disease for cattle, but the evidence shows that killing badgers isn’t the answer. We’re calling for the cull to be halted, and the government to focus on vaccinating badgers and developing a cattle vaccine’

The charity was one of the first Trusts to adopt a programme of badger vaccination and will not allow a cull to take place on any of its nature reserves.

It is keen to work with landowners and let them know there is an alternative to the cull. The Trust wishes to hear from anyone interested in carrying out vaccinations on their land instead of the cull.

The charity is continuing to ask for donations to help support its work in vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Staffordshire. Anyone who can contribute to the Trust’s badger appeal should visit www.justgiving.com/badgerappeal