Tag Archives: badger

Badger culls risk increased spread of TB to cattle, study finds

BBC NEWS reports culling badgers drives them to roam further afield, allowing them to disperse tuberculosis over a larger area, new research suggests. The culls might thus increase the risk of TB spreading to cattle, the scientists behind the study warn. The review urged the government to explore alternative approaches to culling. It was led by zoologist Sir Charles Godfray, from Oxford University. 

Photo by Tim Brookes under creative commons.

Badger cull in England extended to ‘unimaginable scale’ Ministers approve culling in 11 new areas, with 64,000 animals likely to be killed this autumn

The Guardian reports TB infections in cattle blight farms and cost taxpayers more than £100m a year in compensation payments. But scientists and conservationists oppose the cull, saying there is little evidence it is effective and is being badly run.

“The culls have expanded to unimaginable scales, covering an area larger than Israel,” said Prof Rosie Woodroffe, an ecologist at the Zoological Society of London, one of the team that conducted the earlier large-scale trial.“ I cannot understand why the government has permitted this massive expansion of badger culling, when it has not yet responded to the Godfray Review it commissioned and received nearly a year ago,” she said.“ The review concluded the government and farming industry were paying far too much attention to badger management, and far too little attention to cattle-to-cattle transmission, which is responsible for the majority of TB incidents in cattle.”

Photo by Tim Brookes under creative commons.

Vet says badger culls caused ‘immense pain’

The BBC reports up to 9,000 of badgers are likely to have suffered “immense pain” in culls to control cattle TB, according to a former government adviser.

Prof Ranald Munro is the ex-Chair of an independent expert group appointed by the government to assess its trials. He has written to Natural England to say that the policy is causing “huge suffering”. He adds that the culls are not reducing TB in cattle and in one area the incidence of the disease has gone up.

The culls began in 2012 following appeals from cattle farmers whose livelihoods are continuing to be damaged by the spread of TB. 

Badger photo by Sally Langstaff under creative commons.

Natural England accused of setting farmers ‘impossible task’ over badger culls

The Sunday Telegraph reports Natural England has been accused of bowing to badger rights campaigners after setting farmers the “impossible task” of proving the cull poses no risk to ground nesting birds.

The row comes after Natural England lost its power to issue bird shooting licences amid a row with farmers who kill wild birds that attack livestock and decimate crops.

Photo by Tim Brookes under creative commons.