The latest judicial review into the proposed plans to shoot badgers to try and control the spread of disease came to an end yesterday at the High Court in London. It’s expected that the outcome will not be known for a month or possibly more.
The badger cull in England comes at a time that Wales has turned away from culling as the solution to control of bovine TB and is undertaking a large-scale vaccination trial. Previous trials of culling has demonstrated that killing badgers is not an effective way of controlling the spread of bovine TB.
Enough animals have already died. Bovine TB should be tackled by improved biosecurity and cattle controls, together with a change in European law to enable the vaccination of cattle as well as badgers
Local badger groups together with the Badger Trust and its individual supporters are actively involved in developing a badger vaccination service. They are now calling on the UK Coalition Government to follow the lead of the Welsh Government and fund vaccination instead of pointlessly killing wildlife and making matters worse at great cost to farmers and the taxpayer.
Not only the Badger Trust but local Badger Groups and their supporters across the UK and Ireland have financed the entire expense of the legal challenge to the proposed cull.
In addition, they have enjoyed the support of scientists, wildlife organisations and concerned individuals. The Badger Trust claims that whatever the legal outcome the science remains clear: killing badgers could make no meaningful contribution to the eradication of the disease in the UK, and cattle measures, rigorously applied, would be sufficient.
David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust, said: “Whatever the result of this judicial review we could have done nothing other than try our utmost to have this pointless policy scrapped, particularly because detailed, fully-validated science has revealed the serious risk of making a bad situation worse. None of this was known 40 years ago when the prejudice against badgers began, and none of the evidence that has emerged since has altered the deep-rooted attitudes of a strident section of the agricultural industry. At least 40,000 badgers in England could be facing extermination over the next four years.”
Astrophysicist Dr. Brian May – Founder of Save Me, and a legendary rock star – is a passionate advocate for animal welfare and a staunch supporter of the Badger Trust. He said: “We are all hoping that the action brought by the Badger Trust will save the badger population from the merciless slaughter proposed by the Coalition Government in England. Enough animals have already died. Bovine TB should be tackled by improved biosecurity and cattle controls, together with a change in European law to enable the vaccination of cattle as well as badgers”.