Badger Cull Betrayal

Updated: Apr 15, 2018

Michael Gove accused of betrayal over badger cull review

Having promised to review the government’s controversial badger cull policy on being appointed as Secretary of State for the Environment last year, the government has finally announced a review

[1] of it’s TB eradication strategy that specifically excludes any examination of badger culling.

“This is political mendacity at its very worst,” says Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin. “Not only has Michael Gove gone back on his word on badger culling but the scope of the review [2] states that it will not look at the rationale for any past interventions and will be ‘prospective’ as opposed to ‘retrospective’. It is therefore hard to see how this can even be described as a ‘review’ as that would necessarily entail an examination of past performance.”

“Michael Gove has simply given in to pressure from the farming lobby who have stated publicly that a review of culling would put them in an extremely difficult position [3],” continues Peter Martin. “The reason for this is that there is no conclusive evidence of how - or even if - badgers infect cattle with TB to any meaningful extent. Add to this the fact that there is no evidence that five years of culling has had any effect on levels of TB in cattle and you can see why they are scared of a review.”

“We put this to Michael Gove at a meeting in his office before Christmas when he asked why we thought that culling was taking place,” continues Peter Martin. “We told him it was mostly because the farming lobby is using badgers to deflect attention away from their own serious shortcomings in handling TB but also because no government minister had ever had the courage to stand up to them and tell them the hard scientific facts.”

“This was a deliberate challenge to Michael Gove,” says Peter Martin, “we wanted to see if all his public posturing over the environment and animal welfare had any substance. Well now we know.”