Breaking News: Badger cull to continue despite coronavirus crisis, admits Government

Breaking News: Badger cull to continue despite coronavirus crisis, admits Government

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The cull will continue this year despite the crisis, the Government has vowed.

Campaigners had called for the controversial scheme to be scrapped for 2020 because of the risk marksmen could fuel the spread of as they hunted the animals.

But, in a letter seen by the Mirror, Environment Minister Lord Gardiner confirmed the cull would go-ahead this autumn. He told Badger Trust chief executive Dominic Dyer the pandemic was no time to axe the project, which supporters claim helps curb the transmission of bovine TB:.

The Tory peer said: “Tackling bovine TB (bTB) remains a top priority in this period of crisis. “Our efforts to combat this disease are key to ensure the productivity of the food chain. “That is why we are seeking to maintain all aspects of our long-term bTB eradication strategy.

of remains a necessary and important part of this.”

Tens of thousands of the creatures are slaughtered each year as the Tories bid to halt the transmission of bovine TB in cows.

Some 102,188 badgers have been killed since the controversial programme began in 2013, with 35,034 dying in last year’s scheme, which operated in 40 areas of England from Cornwall to Cumbria.

The cull will begin to be phased out in the next few years, with vaccination of badgers being ramped up instead.

But animal welfare campaigners fear tens of thousands of the creatures are still doomed to die before the cull is completely stopped.

Badgers have been culled across rural England (Image: Annelisa Davison/Gardenwatch)
Some badgers are trapped in the cull (Image:

This year’s shooting and programme could begin on June 1, though officials have yet to reveal the areas in which it will take place.

The Mirror exclusively revealed this week how activists wanted this year’s cull shelved as the country battles the worst crisis since the Second World War.

But, confirming it would go ahead, Lord Gardiner said: “Cull companies are not businesses which have been mandated to close … Government guidance is clear that travel for work which cannot be done from home is permitted, and routine business and disease management activities respecting hygiene and social distancing, can continue.”

He insisted the “ability to deliver safe, effective and humane culling operations is paramount”.

Dead badgers in Wiltshire (Image: Wiltshire Against the )

Mr Dyer said tonight: “Despite facing the biggest public health and economic crisis since the Second World War with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government is pushing ahead with the biggest destruction of a protected species in living memory.

“In the next six months this could result in over 50,000 badgers being shot across England from Cornwall to Cumbria, pushing the species to the verge of local extinction in areas which they have inhabited since the Ice Age.

“The Government has recently stated that it intends to phase out badger culling and move to badger and cattle vaccination to lower bovine TB in cattle.

“Rather than delay this process any further, it should bring an immediate halt to the badger cull during the Covid-19 pandemic and plan a rapid exit strategy from this cruel, costly and ineffective wildlife killing policy into 2021.”

Lead Image Source: Campaigners wanted the cull shelved because of the outbreak (Image: PA)

This article was first published by The Mirror on 1 May 2020.

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Facebook Comments


Why aren’t they ‘following the science’?

Robert Piller
Robert Piller

The only reason they don’t cull us in this epidemic is because they’d never get re-elected!

Robert Piller
Robert Piller

Will include this in our June Report.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

More cruel and stupid does

Maria O Donnell
Maria O Donnell

Exactly Diane if farmers vaccinated regularly there should be no problem. I blame the stupid farmers


I agree with everything Irene says. It is the cattle that should be vaccinated against TB which it is being passed on to badgers (protected species) but the farmers are too mean to cough up the incredibly small fee per vaccine. The sooner we stop eating meat (as meat production/consumption is one of the largest contributors to global warming, poor health and the destruction of the environment in order to grow crops (soy) to feed cattle and other meat consumables (lamb, chickens etc). We are now reaping the results of poor animal husbandry and the killing of wild animals which… Read more »

Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

Once again the innocent badger will needlessly be killed. Its about time the farmers got their act together and started looking after their cattle PROPERLY. They keep them in filthy, stinking, airless barns for months at a time. Continuously impregnate the cows and soon as their calf is born it is ripped away from its mother and is either bashed to death if male or put into the herd if female, never mind the torment and pain the mother cow goes through. They fail to treat illnesses and injuries but inject them with quantities of ‘medicines’ and then when the… Read more »


It’s never going to change for the Badgers until they are extinct which they are not likely to be far from. It is literally years since we have seen a Badger in our garden but we used to have one come to our garden every night for food and water and it breaks my heart because I love our wildlife when I get to see and watch it in our quite large garden. If I had my way I’d cull all the government for this and the farmers if we didn’t unfortunately need them.

Janet Kenedy

Poor Little Souls can’t even live their little lives of daily survival without ever being found by the blood thirsty scum suckers on this planet!!!.