RSPCA: Will the badgers’ voices finally be heard?

RSPCA welcomes news of debate in House of Commons

We are delighted the overwhelming message from the public has finally been heard and there will be a debate about the badger cull in parliament.

MPs will be asked to vote on the floor of the House of Commons on Thursday, 25 October  about whether the badger cull will go ahead. We call on the Government to announce they will await this verdict before starting any cull, and ask all citizens of compassion to contact their MP and urge them to attend.

A record 100,000 signatures were gathered against plans to shoot badgers in just two weeks and the number has now grown to more than 150,000.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “We welcome this debate with open arms and hope that finally there will be a chance for the badgers’ voices to be heard.

“This cull is a huge mistake and in persisting along this misguided path the Government is ignoring both science and the public – who could not have made their feelings clearer.

“Studies have shown it will be of little help in controlling TB in cattle and could even make things worse in some areas. Thousands of badgers, many of them healthy, will be wiped out needlessly.

“Let’s hope that this debate gives us a chance to put a stop to this slaughter once and for all.

“We thank all the sympathetic MPs who have made this debate a reality and urge anyone who has not already done so to contact their local MP and urge them to attend.”

For years the RSPCA has campaigned against plans for a badger cull, which involves killing 70% of the badger population in large areas of the countryside.

We believe that the Independent Scientific Group on cattle TB provides the most robust scientific evidence to date.  It was the result of painstaking research over nearly ten years, cost the lives of about 11,000 badgers and cost taxpayers £50 million.  It concluded that “badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.”

We believe that vaccination of cattle and/or badgers, increased levels of testing, improved biosecurity and stricter controls on the movement of cattle are better ways of eradicating bovine TB for good.

The RSPCA is working in partnership with a coalition of organisations known as "Team Badger" These including Save Me (run by rock guitarist and RSPCA Vice President Brian May), the League Against Cruel Sports and Humane Society International (UK) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Notes to editors

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