The UK government has authorised badgers to be culled earlier in the year in 2015, meaning many of those killed will be young cubs. The badger cull is part of an experiment as it is thought that badgers may transmit TB to cattle. There is a target number of badgers intended to be culled, and killing cubs makes it easier to meet the target. However, cubs are less likely to have TB, therefore less likely to transmit TB to cattle. This means that scientifically, killing the cubs makes the experiment less effective. It is killing to meet targets instead of with scientific reason.
An Independent Expert Panel (IEP) judged the 2013 culls to be neither effective or humane. The badger culls in the UK are authorised by the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who are lobbied by the National Farmers' Union (NFU). Alternatives to badger culling such as TB vaccinations and testing for cattle are not supported by the NFU because they cost farmers money - despite these potentially being very effective and not requiring the killing of badgers.
Please sign this petition to email your MP* and DEFRA, to ask them to oppose the earlier badger cull which would result in hundreds of badger cubs being senselessly killed.
*Only UK signatures can be sent to MPs. All signatures will be visible to DEFRA.
To my MP:
DEFRA has just signed off an earlier badger cull, to start in June 2015 instead of Autumn. This will result in many badger cubs being killed, when cubs are less likely to have TB. This change will make the culling experiment, whose goal is to test the reduction of TB in cattle after culling badgers, less effective. It is only being supported in order to meet kill target figures agreed when the cull was approved - and not with scientific reasoning.
An Independent Expert Panel (IEP) judged the 2013 culls to be neither effective or humane. The decision to move the start date of the 2015 cull is misguided. Investment should be made into vaccinating and testing cattle for TB, and other alternatives to culling currently being investigated by DEFRA. At the very least, the culling date should not be moved to when cubs are going to be a large number of its victims.
As your constituent, please tell me: do you intend to oppose this decision to move the start date of the cull, and do you intend to raise this in Parliament?