In an attempt to curtail the spread of bovine TB (bTB) in the United Kingdom, the government has implemented an annual cull program that kills tens of thousands of badgers. Their logic is that badgers can become infected with bTB and transmit the disease to cattle thereby posing a serious risk to humans if an infected cow enters the food chain. This year the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will allow up to 62,000 badgers to be slaughtered - almost one-fourth of the U.K. badger population.
But two recent news reports have brought light to the cruelty and futility of the government's efforts. And now, activists are demanding an end to the sick program.
According to professor Ranald Munro, ex-Chair of an independent expert group appointed to assess the badger programs merits, up to 23% of animals culled in the program endured "huge suffering."
The men and women charged with slaughter use guns to eradicate the squat carnivores but according to Munro, many of the animals take up to 5 mins to die. This news, coupled with the fact that in two of the areas where badger culls first took place (Gloucestershire and Somerset), bTB has actually risen.
That means, that not only is the government willingly condoning severe animal suffering but the whole purpose of the program may be moot.
This controversial initiative must end. There is no acceptable excuse for inflicting such pain on the country's beloved badgers and if the program's efficacy is still in question the government has even less of a defense. The program is defenseless. Please sign the petition and show your disapproval for Defra's massive annual badger culls. Tell the U.K. to end it now.