Friday, 26 October 2012

Birdwatch News Archive - badgers

Badgers appear to have some respite at present, but only until next summer if the government gets its way.
RSPB's Badger cull response
As the government postpones the controversial badger cull to next summer, the RSPB says it is time to reconsider the idea of a vaccination programme.
The Environment Secretary's announcement today about the postponement of the badger cull has been welcomed by the charity, and the society's conservation director, Martin Harper, said: “The prospective culls have proved to be extremely divisive. The science suggests that culling will not deliver the solution to this serious and urgent problem. Today’s announcement suggests that farmers and badgers will  be in exactly the same situation next summer.
"This window gives Owen Paterson [the environment secretary] an opportunity to lead the Government out of this muddle by embracing a vaccination programme, giving a lifeline to livestock farmers and badgers.”
Mr Paterson made the announcement of the end of this year's planned badger cull, aimed at eradicating bovine tuberculosis which costs farmers millions of pounds every year, in parliament yesterday. He claimed that farmers would not be able to carry out the cull so close to the onset of winter now, and that the badger population had been underestimated. He also blamed the wet summer, insufficient policing due to the Olympic Games and the costly and time-consuming legal challenges to the cull.
The government insists there has been no change of policy, but the majority of scientists and the public are against the cull and the threat of legal action remains once the plans are reinstated.

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