RSPCA on high alert as badger cull start date approaches

The RSPCA is bracing itself for an influx of calls from concerned members of the public as the date badger culls can recommence in Somerset and Gloucestershire approaches.

The two counties were subject to pilot culls in 2013 and despite a vote against the programme in Parliament last month (April) the Secretary of State has decided to continue with the culls – which can begin any day from June 1.

The RSPCA is now renewing calls for the culls to be stopped and instead a more proactive approach through vaccination and improved biosecurity be taken to tackle the problem of bovine TB.

Head of public affairs at the RSPCA David Bowles said: “More than 1,800 badgers were culled last year as part of the Government’s ill-considered policy and despite an Independent Expert Panel report in to the scheme reporting it was both ineffective and inhumane they are pushing forward with the cull anyway. It is an embarrassment.

“It is ludicrous that the culls are continuing when there is such strong public feeling against them. Members of Parliament resoundingly voted against the cull and there is strong scientific evidence they are ineffective and inhumane too. Everyone is wondering when the Secretary of State will take note of the facts and listen to public opinion.

“The RSPCA, alongside many other organisations, has always maintained the methods used in the cull would not be humane and that culling is not the answer to effectively controlling bovine TB.

“The fact these culls will no longer be monitored by independent experts is also very concerning.

“We will continue to for the cull to be dropped in favour of more effective measures such as the use of vaccination along with improved biosecurity. Using these methods both farmers and wildlife campaigners can work together in tackling this devastating disease together.”



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