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: Invasive vines swallow up New York's natural areas

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

Invasive vines swallow up New York's natural areas

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —When Antonio DiTommaso, a Cornell weed ecologist, first spotted pale swallow-wort in 2001, he was puzzled by it. Soon he noticed many Cornell old-field edges were overrun with the weedy vines. ...

Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

18 hours ago

Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Wes ...

Researchers detail newly discovered deer migration

Apr 23, 2014

A team of researchers including University of Wyoming scientists has documented the longest migration of mule deer ever recorded, the latest development in an initiative to understand and conserve ungulate ...

How Australia got the hump with one million feral camels

Apr 23, 2014

A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled ...

Former Iron Curtain still barrier for deer

Apr 23, 2014

The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West. It was an impenetrable Cold War barrier—and for some inhabitants of the Czech Republic it ...

Humpback protections downgrade clears way for pipeline

Apr 22, 2014

Environmentalist activists on Tuesday decried Canada's downgrading of humpback whale protections, suggesting the decision was fast-tracked to clear a major hurdle to constructing a pipeline to the Pacific ...

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.

More news stories

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...