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Badger cull and bovine TB: the science and what you can do

Devon Wildlife Trust and the wider Wildlife Trusts movement are firmly opposed to badger culling as a response to bovine TB. 

You can read our response to Owen Patterson's March 2014 announcement on the badger cull here

As landowners and livestock managers Devon Wildlife Trust has been directly affected by the devastating livestock disease bovine TB (bTB). DWT has made its position clear - that culling badgers is not supported by science, in fact it could make the situation far worse. Read more on how shooting badgers could spread infection via the 'perturbation effect' 

Devon Wildlife Trust, along with the wider Wildlife Trust movement, are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB causes in the farming community and the need to act to effectively control the disease. We believe that the answers to this problem lie both in biosecurity and vaccination, and that these twin measures should be at the centre of efforts to eradicate bTB.

Tackling the disease should therefore include the following:

Badger vaccination: Support landowners to use the injectable Badger BCG vaccine. We also urge Defra to continue development of an oral badger vaccine. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has pioneered the vaccination of badgers at some of its nature reserves and Devon Wildlife Trust has trained our nature reserves staff in badger vaccination.
Cattle vaccine: Complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.
Biosecurity: All possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm and between farms.

For more on The Wildlife Trusts, bTB and culling badgers visit here

What can you do?

1. Email your MP to ask them to call for the cull to be stopped and prioritise badger vaccination instead.

2. Sign the anti-cull e-petition here. The Number 10 petition to stop the cull has now passed 260,000 signatures. But the more signatures it gets the stronger the message it sends to the Government - so keep signing!

3. Email your MEP. Ask your MEP to end the EU ban on a cattle vaccine to be lifted. Find the details of your MEP here. 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.

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