The Badger Cull (and why it’s wrong)
Badger culling is currently taking place in Somerset and Gloucestershire (September, October 2014). Care for the Wild is totally opposed to these culls, as we believe they are unscientific (ie they won’t work), inhumane (they are causing badgers immense suffering) and unnecessary (badgers are not the main cause of TB in cattle, cattle are – so dealing with the problem in cattle is the obvious and effective solution).
On these pages you can find out more about the cull, the science, and what we’ve been doing to fight it.
Stop the Cull Advert
A graphic advert against the badger cull has started appearing on billboards, online and in newspapers across the UK from Monday, October 6th. Care for the Wild produced this advert, with the help of creative agency JWT, in a bid to shock people into understanding what is happening as we speak in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Care for the Wild’s Policy Advisor Dominic Dyer explains:
“This is a wake-up call. People need to understand what is happening in the English countryside right now, and I think this advert will give them a good idea. If it puts people off their morning toast, then we’re sorry. But frankly, we’ve argued against this cull using scientific evidence, we’ve shown that it won’t work, we’ve offered alternative solutions, but the government is ploughing on with it anyway, simply to ensure they pick up some votes in the next election.”
The figure of 12,000 badgers already killed refers to the number of animals killed both in the current ‘trials’, which started last year, and also in the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT) which ran for 10 years to 2008, killing 11,000 badgers.
Dominic Dyer said: “More than 12,000 badgers have already died in England in a bid to discover whether or not culling them can reduce bovine TB in cattle. The RBCT report summarised that ‘badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain’, yet here we are again. Meanwhile in Wales, they’ve cut the number of cattle slaughtered for TB by 50% in five years – a result that could never be achieved by culling.
“The way forward is being signposted clearly – better and more frequent testing to ensure that sick cows are not left undetected in herds, and tighter movement controls to ensure sick cows don’t spread the disease to other farms. Badgers are at most a tiny part of this problem, and the sooner the farming industry realises that, the better it will be for the farmers and their cattle.”
Read our full news story about this advert.
Read why the badger cull is Missing the Target
Brief History of the Somerset & Gloucestershire Culls
In 2013 a badger cull took place in Somerset and Gloucestershire, with the aim to kill over 5000 badgers within six weeks. As you may have read in the media, the cull was deeply flawed in many ways, and failed to kill the number of badgers they hoped for.
This was good news for the badgers, but the concern was that the UK Government would use this to justify extending badger culling to other parts of the country over the next few years. If they do, 100,000 badgers will die.
It was announced early in 2014 that the plans to extend the cull to further areas had been postponed – we believe that this was due in part to the continual pressure that Care for the Wild has exerted on the government. Culls would however continue to take place in Somerset and Gloucestershire (they commenced September 8th, 2014).
Care for the Wild has been extremely active in fighting against the badger cull, and will continue to oppose it until the policy is ditched. Whether or not you believe that badgers play a role in infecting (or re-infecting) cattle with bovine TB (bTB), the key point is that all reliable scientific evidence says that culling badgers will not work.
For more information on this difficult issue, see the links below, and take a look at what Care for the Wild has been doing to fight the badger cull.
Stop Press – Cull Starts Again.
If you wish to go to the cull zones to take part in peaceful patrols, find out how on our Badger Cull Protests page
Running for their Lives
Emily Lawrence is running the Bupa Great South Run 2014 for us – can you support her? Emily does fantastic voluntary work for Care for the Wild, particularly in helping fight the badger cull. So you can help us by helping her!
Please support Emily on her JustGiving page!
Can you run for their lives? Plenty of places available and we’ll support you all the way!
What Have We Been Doing?
Care for the Wild has been playing a leading role in opposing the cull, as part of Team Badger. Here’s just a few of the things we’ve done over the last few months:
- Joining with the Badger Trust and HSI UK to appeal to the Bern Convention that the badger cull is illegal. See the full complaint and our press release
- Slamming the cull on TV, radio including BBC News, ITV, Sky, Newsround, BBC Five Live, Radio Four and several national newspapers. See all our latest Badger Cull News – check out our Press Releases
- Commenting on the decision to postpone a major roll out of the cull – see this Ecologist article
- Organising and supporting Badger Army protests around the country – 25 so far! See our Badger Cull Protests page
- Working with Sky News to break a story proving that farmers have been illegally gassing badger setts
- Revealing that a tiny proportion of the culled badgers would be tested to ensure they were killed humanely
- De-bunking key pro-cull arguments, such as that the Republic of Ireland badger cull was ‘a success’
- Working with the Sunday Times to show that meat infected with TB was being sold into the food chain
- Repeatedly showing that rates of bTB were falling prior to the culling taking place
- Taking a leading role in the formation of the Badger Vaccination Initiative
- Funding, with other charities, the co-ordination of several local council anti-cull petitions
- Funding on-the-ground protesters in the cull zones to supply equipment for peaceful protests
- Breaking the story that farmers moving cattle illegally (thus risking TB spread) are very rarely prosecuted
- Speaking at and helping organise badger cull protests in Taunton, Manchester, Witney (David Cameron’s constituency), Bedford, Kettering and Northampton, Derby and Brighton.
- Challenging supermarkets and the Soil Association – which certifies organic food – to reject the cull
- Writing leading articles criticising the cull in a range of publications including the Ecologist, the Grocer, Huffington Post
- Helping organise a high-profile seminar on badger and cattle vaccination at the Zoological Society of London
- Creating valuable campaign materials including our Cure Not Kill poster, and the 10 Things You’ve Heard about the Badger Cull And Why They’re Wrong leaflet.
- Producing a badger cull episode of the children’s TV favourite Bodger & Badger.
Urgent – Message from the CEO
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our fight so far. We need your help now more than ever to keep fighting the cull and to stop it expanding post trial. We are literally doing all we can lobbying, organising and attending protests, working with the media to expose the truth and much more – but we can’t do it without you. If you can help, please donate by using the form below. Every donation, no matter what amount, will really help. Thank You.
Philip Mansbridge, Chief Executive Officer.
(Please note – this widget may not work properly on iPads, tablets or smart phones – please click on the donation button on the right hand side if you are experiencing difficulty or you can donate on text simply by texting CURE30 followed by the amount you wish to donate – for example CURE30 £3 or CURE30 £10 etc. to 70070)
What’s the Latest?
You can keep up with the latest news on the badger cull by following our Twitter feed. Follow the #badgerarmy hashtag to see where local protests are taking place.
- Read our latest press releases and media coverage on the cull.
- Read our CEO Philip Mansbridge’s view on the badger cull.
- Our Policy Advisor Dominic Dyer is one of the key opponents of the badger cull. Read his Politics.co.uk article on the badger cull, and his badger cull opinion piece in the Western Daily Press. To watch Dominic’s speeches at protest events, go to our YouTube channel.
- Find out the arguments for and against, the cull, take a look at our badger cull facts page.
- Find out about Care for the Wild’s Badger Cull Campaign.
- Read about the nationwide badger cull protests.
Exclusive! Cure Not Kill Merchandise
Show your support for our Cure Not Kill Campaign with these fantastic beanie hats! Perfect for everyday use, and for our peaceful Badger Army protests!
Buy them via Ebay or call 01403 24983201403 249832 (office hours).
- Beanie hats: £6.75
- Postage free