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MPs vote 219 to 1 against the badger cull

MPs voted overwhelmingly to halt the controversial badger culls in England yesterday.

 

MPs voted overwhelmingly to halt the controversial badger culls in England yesterday.

The motion was proposed by the Conservative MP Anne Main and stated that the pilot culls had “decisively failed”.

Farming minister George Eustice refused to respond to a challenge to hold a full debate and vote in government time, choosing, rather, to defend the culls, saying: “Our view is there is nowhere, anywhere in the world, that has managed to successfully tackle TB without also dealing with the reservoir of the disease in the wildlife population.”

Dominic Dyer, CEO for the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor to Care for the Wild said:

“This is a huge disaster for the badger cull policy. The Secretary of State and Prime Minister now have no alternative but to bring this policy back to the House for a full vote before any decision on rolling out the cull is taken. It’s clear that members from all sides of the house have huge concerns about the failure of the cull on scientific, economic and animal welfare grounds and believe that the government should now follow the Welsh approach to TB eradication which has proven very effective without culling badgers.

“It’s significant that this debate was initiated by a Conservative MP, who clearly understands the issues. It’s worrying but not unexpected that senior government ministers continue to peddle the same old pro-cull arguments, without hearing, or wanting to hear, arguments from the other side which completely undermine the case for a cull.

“If there wasn’t enough evidence already, then just in the last few days we’ve seen proof that culling isn’t needed. In Wales, there’s been a 33% drop in the number of cattle slaughtered due to TB – no badgers killed. In cull-free Northern Ireland, the drop in TB rates has matched that in the Republic, where they’ve killed thousands of badgers. In England, the rates have dropped over the last year, though not as much. The common factor? Better farming practices, tighter biosecurity, better TB testing, more controlled cattle movements. Those are the answers to this disease, not badgers.”

 

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