29-11-2013 17:20 PM | Animal Health, Cattle, News, Veterinary News

Badger cull operations to cease in Gloucestershire

Badger cull operations to cease in Gloucestershire
The cull company in west Gloucestershire and Natural England have agreed to end culling operations tomorrow.

In October, Natural England granted an eight-week licence extension to the company carrying out the pilot controls in Gloucestershire.

The decision to end the extension early does not affect the original licence granted by Natural England in September last year, which remains in place and which allows culling operations to take place for four years in west Gloucestershire.

This decision has been taken based on the decreasing number of badgers seen by contractors over recent weeks which makes achieving a further significant reduction in the coming weeks unlikely. The end of the cage-trapping season tomorrow was agreed by the cull company and Natural England as a sensible point to stop activity.

Defra will update Parliament on Monday with the final number of badgers removed during the extension period.

The eight-week licence extension was granted by Natural England on 23 October.

The decision to end the extension early does not affect the original licence granted by Natural England in September last year, which remains in place and which allows culling operations to take place for four years in west Gloucestershire.

Peter Kendall, NFU President, said: “The company carrying out badger controls in Gloucester has informed the NFU that they will be ceasing badger cull operations on November 30. While the operation has continued to remove badgers on a daily basis, the numbers seen have been steadily reducing as the season has progressed. Therefore, as cage trapping has to cease on 30 November, the cull company has concluded that this is a sensible time to bring operations to a close for this year. The NFU is fully supportive of this decision.

“These pilot culls were set up to demonstrate that removing badgers to help reduce TB in cattle could be carried out humanely, safely and effectively. As operations are continuing it is too early to give a figure on the number of badgers culled, though we understand the Secretary of State will be updating parliament next week.

“It is thanks to the professionalism and organisation of the farmers, landowners and contractors on the ground that the operations have been carried out safely and humanely despite intense provocation and intimidation by some anti-cull protesters.

We look forward to the final independent report on the pilot badger culls expected in the new year and the NFU remains committed to supporting wider roll out to help prevent the spread of this terrible disease.

“TB saw the slaughter of 38,000 cattle in 2012; reducing this disease in our beef and dairy herds remains an absolute priority.”

Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor for Care for the Wild, said that a mass protest against the cull taking place in Bristol tomorrow could now turn into a celebration.

“We must take a moment to celebrate the utter failure of a badly planned, poorly executed, inhumane cull. There would be some joy in saying ‘we told you so’ to the government, but hundreds of badgers have already been killed for absolutely no discernible reason.

“The sad thing though is that this government will now try and justify rolling out the cull to other parts of the country next year. They will say that lessons have been learned, they will say that there is no other way to beat TB.

“But if they had cared to pay attention, they’d know that we’d already learned lessons about culling – that it doesn’t work. And we know that there is another way – a revised and improved cattle management system, in conjunction with volunteer-led badger vaccination.”

Mark Jones from the Humane Society International, said: "The disastrous badger cull, which has been underway in my home county of Gloucestershire for eleven weeks, will end tomorrow. Natural England will revoke the licence to kill badgers with effect from this Saturday, 30 November, bringing the cull to an end three weeks earlier than planned.

"I am much relieved that at long last some common sense is being applied and the government's badger cull fiasco will finally be over, for the time being at least.

"In the face of what has been the dismal failure of this policy, Natural England should be commended for making the sensible decision to revoke the cull licence. They should have acted sooner and it is deeply regrettable that hundreds of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset have already paid for this ill-conceived policy with their lives.

"I hope that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will now do the decent thing and admit that killing badgers to control TB in cattle is a ludicrous and inhumane idea. As the killing stops, I urge it to abandon its plans to roll out this calamitous cull elsewhere in the country."


30-11-2013 13:44 PM | Posted by reg pollard
NFU & deathra, been so involved with cattle everything that comes out of these moronic mouths is Pure Bull Shit,real reason this shambolic slaughter has been called of is because it has been total cock up from day1,Peter Kendall is standing down in February,Owen Paterson should do the same,or Cameron should sack this moronic idiotic little liar now,good riddance to both you arrogant butchers

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