Badger cull

PUBLISHED: 17:02 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 21:52 29 May 2010

The RSPCA is echoing the anger and dismay of top scientists provoked by a Government advisor s outrageous and misinformed call for a badger cull to reduce bovine TB (bTB) in cattle. Robust science has shown that a cull could have disastrous consequen

The RSPCA is echoing the anger and dismay of top scientists provoked by a Government advisor's 'outrageous and

misinformed' call for a badger cull to reduce bovine TB (bTB) in cattle.

Robust science has shown that a cull could have disastrous consequences for cattle and badgers alike, so leading experts are shocked by the stance of Government advisor Sir David King.

His recommendation directly contradicts the most rigorous scientific

study ever produced on the impact of badger-culling on bTB in cattle.

Professor John Bourne - whose Independent Scientific Group (ISG) undertook the badger-culling study - has recently told a committee of MPs the King report appeared "hastily written" and "superficial". The ISG recommended cattle controls to reduce the spread of bTB.

The RSPCA supported the ISG's research - despite the large numbers of badgers that died in the process - because we recognised the need for firm scientific evidence on the issue. The resulting ISG report effectively rules out a badger cull, concluding that "badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain".

To dismiss that and proceed with a cull would make a nonsense of the ISG research which took almost 10 years, cost the lives of more than 10,000 badgers and cost taxpayers £34 million.

It would also be the worst possible option for cattle and badgers.

To help avoid a senseless badger cull, and add your voice to those of the country's eminent scientists and animal welfare experts, please contact your MP or write to the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London

SW1P 3JR.

For more information - and to sign the on-line petition - visit the website www.rspca.org.uk/badgers

Sally Bruce RSPCA Regional Manager for South East Region

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