Ordinary Britons are kicking back against the British government’s policy of culling badgers in an attempt to eradicate bovine tuberculosis. In Oxfordshire, local activists have called on the county’s councils, university colleges and other landowners to refuse to let the badger slaughter happen on their land.
According to the Oxford Mail, the Oxfordshire Badger Group sent a letter to councils and colleges saying that “after five years of badger culling, more than 35,000 badgers have been needlessly killed and an estimated £50m ($70-million) of taxpayers’ money spent, yet DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is still unable to provide reliable evidence that culling badgers is having any impact on reducing TB in cattle.”
“Oxfordshire Badger Group strongly objects to the plans to bring the cull to our county: we believe it is cruel and ineffective. Vaccination of badgers together with other preventative measures such as improved farm biosecurity provide better and more effective controls.”
Animal Survival International (formerly Political Animal Lobby) spokesperson, David Barritt, said the organisation agreed absolutely with the Oxfordshire Badger Group and ASI was heartened by the groundswell of support for badgers that is rising across Britain.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the government’s policy of badger culling is ineffective. As a result, it’s getting harder and harder for DEFRA to pursue the policy and extend the badger cull zone as it intends to do,” he said.
ASI and its sister organisation, Network for Animals, will continue working with badger groups who are on the ground throughout England, fighting to save badgers and British wildlife, said Barritt.
Oxfordshire is a relatively low-risk area for bovine tuberculosis but Defra has proposed that the badger cull be introduced to the county. More details about the Department’s proposal can be read here.