Badger Culling could be counterproductive

Bristol West Conservatives chairman Graham Godwin-Pearson has launched a paper in Parliament condemning the Government's proposals to resume badger culling in England. Research shows that badger culling does little to address bovine TB and can make matters worse.

Graham was principle author of a Bow Group paper urging Caroline Spelman and Defra to reconsider the plans, citing the results of Labour's massive badger culling programme during the last Government, and recommending England follows Wales in using vaccination instead.

The paper, with a foreword by Dr Brian May and contributions by some of Britain's leading TB scientists and Zac Goldsmith MP, has been cited by various media, including the BBC and Guardian.

In the RBCT report following the last cull, Page 5: First, while badgers are clearly a source of cattle TB, careful evaluation of our own and others’ data indicates that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better. Second, weaknesses in cattle testing regimes mean that cattle themselves contribute significantly to the persistence and spread of disease in all areas where TB occurs, and in some parts of Britain are likely to be the main source of infection. Scientific findings indicate that the rising incidence of disease can be reversed, and geographical spread contained, by the rigid application of cattle-based control measures alone.

You can read the full article and download the paper on the right.