Badger Trust Condemns Northern Ireland Minister’s Cull Announcement

Today, there is shocking news from Northern Ireland as Minister Poots launches an unscientific, expensive and cruel badger cull.

Peter Hambly, Executive Director of Badger Trust, reacted:

Clearly, this is a bad day for Northern Ireland taxpayers, farmers and of course badgers, that once again become a smokescreen for ineffective implementation of cattle-based measures. Badger culling will not work and is wasting money and time which should be spent on dealing with bTB in cattle.

It is a wildlife tragedy on an unprecedented scale and a shocking development for animal welfare in Northern Ireland.”

In his announcement, Minister Poots states:

“Badgers may be playing a significant role in the maintenance of bTB in cattle.”

There is in fact no scientific evidence of badgers playing a significant role. Cattle are proven time and again to be the primary vector for spreading bovine TB. The answer is cattle measures such as effective testing and vaccination, control on movements and better biosecurity

Peter Hambly added:

The latest research shows that badger culling in England has had no impact on reducing bTB in cattle. Therefore Minister Poots is planning to waste taxpayers’ money and kill badgers for no good reason. Many badgers that are shot will escape injured and die long painful deaths from these injuries, against all animal welfare guidelines.

Minister Poots is not following the better practice demonstrated by the Scottish and Welsh Governments, which focus on cattle measures and do not cull, achieving better results than England by not doing so.”

Further information:

New scientific study reveals that badger culling has had no effect in reducing bovine TB in cattle

Video: is badger culling effective against the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis?

Welsh Government commended for rejecting lethal badger control in fight against bovine TB

Record levels of opposition to badger cull recorded in YouGov survey