Labour launched a new campaign to persuade the Tory-led Government to drop its plans for a badger cull on Friday 19 August.
Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh MP has written to over 25,000 supporters from previous countryside and animal welfare campaigns asking them to lobby their MPs about the issue. The Party has also launched a new website www.NoBadgerCull.com where people can register their support.
The campaign aims to demonstrate the huge opposition to the Tory-led Government's plans to allow farmers to shoot badgers as part of measures to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. The Government’s consultation on a proposed cull revealed 69% of respondents objected to it.
The Government’s plans have been criticised by leading scientists as an untested solution to the problem, which may increase the problem as badgers wander further afield once shooting begins. The Government’s own impact assessment states that the "costs exceed expected monetised benefits" for farmers involved.
The Government consultation on the plans runs until the 20th September and people can respond to it at www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/07/19/bovine-tb/
In Government, Labour conducted a 10-year study into managing bovine TB to establish whether badger culling would protect cattle and reduce the transmission of the disease. The scientists who led this inquiry concluded that "badger culling is unlikely to contribute effectively to the control of cattle TB in Britain".
“Bovine TB is a terrible disease but the Government’s plans to cull badgers are bad for farmers, bad for badgers and bad for the taxpayer. We need a science-led policy to manage cattle movements and develop a vaccine to tackle TB in badgers and cattle. Instead, the Tory-led Government has reduced the number of vaccine trials Labour commissioned to just one.
“Opposition to the plans is growing and I hope people will now sign up to www.NoBadgerCull.com to campaign for a science-based approach to tackling Bovine TB.”