Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, has joined the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and other wildlife groups in condemning in Government decision to extend badger culling to 11 new areas in England, including Derbyshire.
Government agency, Natural England, announced last month that 11 additional areas were being be issued with culling licences, and badgers are now being shot in Derbyshire.
Toby Perkins said, “Today is National Badger Day and across the country hundreds of badgers could be shot, many of which will have been vaccinated. It feels like we are once again fighting an argument that had already been won. The Government agreed last year that there would be no culling in Derbyshire and had committed to phasing out culling altogether.
The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has one of the biggest and most successful badger vaccination programmes in the country and the introduction of culling could see hundreds of vaccinated badgers killed, and lead to the others being displaced and possibly increasing the potential spread of TB. The Government’s decision to issue further licences is barbaric and unjustifiable.”
Figures from The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust suggest that the new licences could result in over 70,000 healthy badgers being shot this autumn. A recent study by the Trust also found that there is no evidence that TB is endemic in badgers in Derbyshire.
Toby Perkins added, “This decision is not backed up by scientific evidence, lacks public support and scientists say will actually increase the spread of TB as badgers under attack are likely to move. I am calling on the Government to scrap the a counter-productive culling programme of a protected species, and to instead use the funds for more testing and vaccinations.”