Sadly today the Badger Trust lost its of Court of Appeal Challenge to Government proposals to cull thousands of badgers in an attempt to stem bovine TB.
This means that within weeks pilot culls could start in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire where thousands of badgers could be killed (or maimed - how do you shoot a moving badger and kill it outright?). Many healthy badgers will be killed - the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT) showed that even in bTB hotspots less than 1 in 7 badgers were infected with bTB.
Most independent scientific opinion suggests that the cull is unlikely to work and will probably make matters worse due to the "perturbation" effect.
I have already done several posts on this theme so won't repeat all of my arguments against culling but will just say that, in my view, this is a political decision and not one based on science.
After all we have already had a 10 year badger cull between 1997 and 2007 costing about £50 million pounds and overseen by the Independent Steering Group. The present Government if it presses ahead with the cull would seem to go against the ISG's comment in its findings and recommendations that
"Given its high costs and low benefits we therefore conclude that badger culling is unlikely to contribute usefully to the control of cattle TB in Britain and recommend that TB control efforts focus on measures other than badger culling".
It would be far better if we tackled bTB by improving biosecurity, cattle testing and animal husbandry accompanied by a vaccination programme for badgers and making efforts to persuade the EU to accept cattle vaccination - it would appear that a cattle vaccination which differentiates between cows that are infected with TB and those that have been vaccinated is being developed.
If you feel strongly about this matter please visit
where there is a link to a new Government e-petition created recently by Dr Brian May against badger culling. If you have a few minutes more there is a very good short video featuring people such as Sir David Attenborough and Simon King giving their views on the culling.
If enough people sign this petition we may be able to stop this awful and unnecessary killing of badgers that have yet again been made scapegoats. Every signature matters. Remember the Government back down after the "Save our Forests" campaign?!!
Diary Update #30
4 hours ago