Dear Secretary of State,
I was disappointed to learn that despite scientific studies showing that culling badgers will do little to control the spread of bovineTB and could even make things worse in some areas, the government have announced a pilot cull of badgers in England.
The Welsh Government announced a five year vaccination programme of badgers in Wales. Not only is vaccination the more sustainable and humane solution, but vaccination has already been shown to significantly reduce the prevalence and severity of disease in the badger population and could reduce the potential for transmission of TB from badgers to cattle.
I remain concerned about the impact of the culling on badger populations and am unconvinced by government reassurances. The cull could see badger populations decline by over 70% and in some areas none may survive. As culling cannot be selective, many healthy badgers will be slaughtered as ‘collateral damage’.
All this when Defra’s own calculations indicate only a very modest drop in cattle TB levels averaging just 16% after nine and half years.
I urge you to rethink the cull and follow in the Wales' footsteps, implementing a vaccination programme with increased levels of testing and improved biosecurity - more effective ways of eradicating bovineTB in cattle for good.
Kevin and Seri