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Badgers

Badger (Credit Andrew Mason)

The Wildlife Trusts are firmly opposed to the badger cull and no Wildlife Trust will allow culling on its land.

Please help badgers today!

The Government announced that seven new licences for badger culling have been granted, covering parts of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. These areas are in addition to the existing cull areas in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset which are part of a four-year trial cull, as yet incomplete.

The Wildlife Trusts’ President Emeritus, Simon King OBE has launched a new e-petition on the Government website calling for an end to the badger cull and no expansion of the cull to new areas.

Contact your MP
Write to, email or tweet your local MP, urging them to put pressure on the Government to drop the cull. You can use The Wildlife Trusts template letter that can be downloaded below, but local, personalised contact works best.

Support our badger vaccination programmes
You can donate now towards a Wildlife Trust's badger vaccination programme. Funds help to pay for vaccines, training, equipment and licenses.

Email your MEP about the EU cattle vaccine ban
Ask your MEP to press for the EU ban on a cattle vaccine to be lifted.
Find the details of your MEP. A cattle vaccine is the long term solution to the bTB problem, but EU rules currently prevent it from being tested and used in this country - find out why.

The Badger Trust website also has lots of information on the badger cull and links to local badger groups around the UK.


Tackling the bovine TB problem

The Wildlife Trusts believe that culling badgers is not the answer

The Wildlife Trusts have been working on the issue of bovine TB and its links to badgers for many years, as different Governments have put forward proposals for culling badgers as a strategy for controlling bovine TB.

Read our briefing on Bovine TB and Badgers and briefing on Bovine TB Vaccination and our Badger vaccination report.

We are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB (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. Lord Krebs, who designed a previous trial, concluded that that “culling is not a viable policy option”.

We recognise the seriousness of the situation for farmers but the emphasis of all our efforts should be to find a long-term solution. We are urging the Government to drop badger culling from its bTB strategy and prioritise badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine.

Tackling the disease should therefore include the following measures:

  • Better biosecurity: all possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm
  • Stricter movement controls: to minimise the risk of spreading disease when cattle are transported
  • Improved TB testing: to increase detection of the disease - currently, many infected cattle are missed
  • Badger vaccination: support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine and continue development of an oral badger vaccine
  • Cattle vaccination: complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure changes to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment

What are The Wildlife Trusts are doing?

  • Delivering badger vaccination programmes - in 2011 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to begin deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. Ten other Wildlife Trusts have since joined Gloucestershire in carrying out local vaccination programmes. Collectively, Wildlife Trusts vaccinated 317 badgers in 2014 - see the full list of our vaccination projects and read our 2011-13 vaccination progress report.
  • Producing a report to Defra 'Enabling Badger Vaccine Deployment' - Stakeholders (farmers, vets, lay vaccinators, volunteers) were consulted to determine barriers to undertaking badger vaccination and develop proposals to overcome them, to increase the scale of badger vaccination activities. This report, and further engagement, influenced the development of Defra's Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS).
  • Securing BEVS funding - we have secured Defra funding to roll out badger vaccination at a landscape scale in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Berkshire.
  • Lobbying the Government and MPs - we continue to do this both nationally and at a local level at key moments, and have facilitated meetings of MPs on the topic. We have also been lobbying the European Commission on cattle vaccination.
  • We have been encouraging our members to write to their MPs. We've also encouraged people to contact their MEPs about the EU ban on a bTB cattle vaccine.
  • Submitting evidence to Government - we submitted evidence to the EFRA (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Select Committee
  • Standing up for badgers in the media including on national television and radio
  • Promoting the anti-cull petition on the Number 10 website - which reached more than 300,000 signatures
  • Responding to government consultations - read The Wildlife Trusts' response to the Defra consultation on a draft strategy to manage bTB in Britain.

Badger Trust 'Stop The Cull' film

 

 

The Wildlife Trusts’ President Simon King OBE and our President Emeritus Sir David Attenborough have, along with others, articulated their views on the badger cull in this short film produced by the Badger Trust.
 


 

 

 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
TWT Consultation Response.pdf.pdf609.67 KB
TWT Enabling badger vaccine deployment final report to Defra.pdf416.3 KB
TWT 2011-13 badger vaccination report.pdf1.08 MB
Template MP Letter.pdf147.05 KB