RSPCA: Petition against badger cull reaches 300,000 signatures

Public outcry grows after two weeks of killing badgers

A petition calling on the Government to put a stop to the pilot badger cull climbed to 300,000 in the two weeks since the first animal was shot.

There has been a marked rise in the number of people signing the number 10 e-petition since the pilot culls began in areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire.

It had already become the biggest ever petition on the Government’s website in July when it passed 258,000 signatures. Now more than 40,000 extra people have agreed that the policy is not the answer to controlling bovine TB in cattle.

Gavin Grant said: “We are not surprised that so many have flocked to sign their name in opposition to this misguided cull and it shows the strength of public opinion against it.

“As the first shots have been fired against the badgers, the public have been faced with the sad reality of what it actually means.

“Huge numbers of badgers are dying– probably in their thousands – and yet science has shown that this will make little difference to bovine TB in cattle. We also have grave concerns about how they are being killed and whether this is humane.

“The cattle deserve a long-term sustainable solution to this devastating disease which we believe is vaccination and better biosecurity – and the badgers do not deserve to be sacrificed for no real gain.”

The RSPCA remains committed to putting a stop to this misguided attempt to control bovine TB in cattle which we believe will not solve the problems caused by this devastating disease or help the cows or the badgers. In fact, science has shown that the cull could make the problems worse.

We are also seriously concerned that the methods being used to kill the badgers are not humane. Their anatomy makes it difficult to shoot a free-roaming badger and they could be injured rather than killed and so suffer agonizing deaths elsewhere or underground.

When the Number 10 e-petition was launched last autumn it gathered a record 100,000 signatures in just two weeks  – the fastest ever petition of its kind.

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Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals registered charity no: 219099 Registered office: RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9RS