Badger cull extension expected

The BBC reported on 23rd August 2016 that it understood that “Shooting of badgers will begin in early September in South Devon, North Devon, North Cornwall, West Dorset, and South Herefordshire”.

Although the government had not confirmed this, the BBC said it understood that “culling companies have already been selected, and marksmen trained for the new locations.”

Statements were released from campaign groups including the Badger Trust, whose CEO Dominic Dyer said, “We could kill every badger in England but bovine TB would continue to spread in cattle herds, due to inaccurate TB testing, excessive numbers of cattle movements and poor biosecurity controls”.

The Chair of the Badger Trust, Peter Martin, said: “The badger is being used as a scapegoat for failures in the modern intensive livestock industry that have led to a significant increase in bovine TB in cattle herds.”

The League Against Cruel Sports said, “Instead of shooting badgers we need to be looking to Wales as an example, where no culling takes place, but instead rigorous TB testing, strict cattle movement control and tight bio-security has been more successful in preventing the spread of TB in cattle”.

Dominic Dyer backed up this argument on the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show, stating that Wales had achieved a 14% reduction in new incidences of TB in the last 12 months.