Britain grants first licence for badger cull

Sep 18, 2012
This picture taken in 2007 shows Kyrgyz hunters training a dog to hunt a badger. Up to 3,000 badgers could be killed in England after a government agency on Friday issued the first licence for a pilot cull in a bid to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle.

Up to 3,000 badgers could be killed in England after a government agency on Friday issued the first licence for a pilot cull in a bid to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle.

Natural England issued the licence to allow farmers in Gloucestershire, western England, to kill badgers, which are otherwise a protected species, on around 300 farms.

Farmers say the measure is required to tackle TB in because badgers spread the disease to livestock, costing livestock owners and the taxpayer millions of pounds a year.

The decision was greeted with dismay by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which called on the government to introduce a vaccination programme instead.

"It needs to look at the science and change their policy to one of vaccination—let's cure and not kill."

Asked if he thought the first pilot culling licence was a positive first step towards a more widespread cull in England, new Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "I very much hope so."

Explore further: Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New thinking required on wildlife disease

Nov 29, 2011

A University of Adelaide scientist says much more could be done to predict the likelihood and spread of serious disease - such as tuberculosis (TB) or foot-and-mouth disease - in Australian wildlife and commercial ...

Research suggests why bovine TB continues to spread

May 22, 2012

The failure of the current bovine tuberculosis (TB) eradication programme could be partly due to a parasitic worm that hinders the tests used to diagnose TB in cows, according to new research published this week.

100,000 Egypt cattle hit by foot-and-mouth: vets

Mar 27, 2012

Nearly 100,000 head of cattle are believed to have been struck by foot-and-mouth disease in Egypt, where a major new outbreak is threatening the entire region, veterinary sources warned on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Asian stars enlisted to fight African rhino poaching

Sep 19, 2014

Increasingly desperate South African conversationists are turning to a multi-national team of "rhino ambassadors" to try to end the scourge of poaching—and Vietnamese pop diva Hong Nhung has been recruited ...

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

Sep 18, 2014

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NOM
1 / 5 (1) Sep 18, 2012
Couldn't they innoculate the badgers?
TrinityComplex
not rated yet Sep 18, 2012
It would be easier to vaccinate the livestock since their entire lives are closely controlled anyway.
TehDog
not rated yet Sep 18, 2012
NOM, there are badger vaccination programs, need to catch them first though.
Trinity, there isn't an approved vaccine for cattle yet.
For a cull to be successful, they need to stop new badgers from moving in.
Personally, I don't think culling is a long term solution, they'd need to totally exterminate the local population and prevent inward migration.