Badger slaughter set to begin imminently as Government confirms seven additional kill zones added to cull

Badger slaughter set to begin imminently
Tuesday, 30 August, 2016
London

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has condemned plans for this year’s badger cull, following today’s announcement by the Government of seven additional kill zones to be added across the country.

IFAW strongly opposes plans for the cull to be extended across new cull zones of South Devon, North Devon, two areas of Cornwall, Gloucestershire, South Herefordshire and West Dorset. This is in addition to existing cull zones in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “At IFAW we are resolute in our strong opposition to the continued cruel, irrational and unnecessary culling of badgers. The cull is without scientific justification and has failed to deliver on targets year after year since the cull began. We find it truly shocking that in light of this continued failure, the Government would even consider continuing the cull, let alone allowing yet more badgers to be pointlessly killed across a wider area.

“As a nation of animal lovers, the majority of the UK public want to see our British wildlife protected. This year we will have more volunteers than ever joining the peaceful Wounded Badger Patrols in the cull areas so they can help any injured badgers in need, as well as bearing witness to what is happening in the countryside.”

Leading scientists and wildlife experts have also stated their opposition to the badger cull because it will not significantly reduce incidents of bovine TB. Pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset were ruled ineffective and inhumane by an Independent Expert Panel.

IFAW believes that the solution to bovine TB is not to kill badgers, but to adopt a joined-up approach to tackle the problem; including better control of cattle movement, an improved testing regime and increased biosecurity on farms. Farmers in Devon have seen a reduction in the incidence of bovine TB at the same rates as their neighbours in Somerset, but without the shooting of a single badger.

There is no reliable evidence that the inhumane and ineffective badger cull has had a significant effect on reducing bovine TB in the pilot areas. IFAW believes that vaccinating badgers can also form part of the solution, but as this is a cattle problem ultimately the answer is better cattle testing and better control of cattle movement.

Minimum badger kill target numbers across all zones total 9,847, while maximum badger kill numbers across all zones total 14,213.

Ends

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Clare Sterling on mobile +44 (0)7917 507717 or email csterling@ifaw.org

Alternatively visit www.ifaw.org

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com

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Clare Sterling (IFAW UK)
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