POLL: Should the trial cull of badgers go ahead?

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Culling badgers is the right thing to do to avoid “appalling consequences” for farmers, cattle and badgers, David Cameron said today. The Prime Minister warned that the Government could spend “another billion pounds” dealing with the consequences of bovine TB, which is partly spread by badgers, if culls not go ahead.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today: “They are going to go ahead and it’s important that they go ahead.” “I think the countryside needs from the Government not just cash and commitment but it needs courage.  “This does require political courage, but we have that political courage because quite simply it’s the right thing to do.  “If we don’t do anything we’re going to be spending over the next 10 years another billion pounds dealing with the consequences of bovine TB, and let’s be clear there are appalling consequences not just for the cattle and the farmers, there are also appalling consequences for the badgers.”

Culling has been licensed over a six-week period in the six months from June 1 and the pilots will assess whether sufficient badgers can be killed in an area to have an impact on in reducing TB in cattle.

Some 5,000 badgers are set to be killed in two pilot culls in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset. It is believed the culls could start this month.

Latest social media speculations indicate that Gloucestershire may not achieve the 70% landowner threshold needed for the cull to take place.

This comes in just after the news that Derbyshire County Council had decided to ban badger culling on their land.

The announcement was made after the council examined the science and concluded that not only would the cull be ineffective but in some cases culling could drive badgers with Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) out to surrounding areas which could spread the disease even further.

Notably, it’s not just landowners and councils that are coming out against the cull. The public petition “Stop the Badger Cull” (see below), against the Government’s cull has reached record numbers, becoming the most supported of its kind, with more than 262,000 signatures.

The League Against Cruel Sports launched a “Myth Busters” document on 5th June. This document refutes the top ten myths supporting the badger cull in England and explains why the cull is doomed to fail.

Campaigners have welcomed news of a badger cull delay Photo: Ben Birchall/PA

We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the trial cull of badgers. Even if you’re not from the UK, please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.


Should the trial cull of badgers be allowed to continue?

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Stop the Badger Cull

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Supertrooper

Supertrooper

Founder and Executive Editor

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Sue Lesmond

Leave animals alone.Humans are the ones that need to be culled.

Sabine Liebsch-Wildlife

No culling !!!!

Eifion Howell

Jane Rees That is something i do not agree with some dairy farms, they shoot male Dairy calves because it is not worth rearing to a certain age, i say sex semen their cattle to have heifers and put what ever he chooses on beef, that way there is no death by the gun to male Dairy calves as soon as their born, i do agree with you about that motion Jane

Jane Rees

can continue

Jane Rees
Jane Rees

Charlotte Merton-Logan Thats seems to be the U.S 'solution' to any problem – never works but gives more money to the armament industry! Thanks.

Jane Rees

Charlotte Merton-Logan Thats seems to be the U.S 'solution' to any problem – never works but gives more money to the armament industry! Thanks.

Jane Rees

I have become vegan recently due to finding out what happens to male calves on dairy farms, haven't eaten meat for 34 years, veganism is becoming a real alternative to people who can't stomach the farming practices that treat sensitive intelligent animals as mere commodities.

Jane Rees

I have become vegan recently due to finding out what happens to male calves on dairy farms, haven't eaten meat for 34 years, veganism is becoming a real alternative to people who can't stomach the farming practices that treat sensitive intelligent animals as mere commodities.

Jane Rees

Badgers eat, that's natural, hedgehogs have coped with that for many years; we destroy environments, use slug pellets etc, coupled with climate change, all contribute to decline in hedghogs, not badger numbers.

Jane Rees

Badgers eat, that's natural, hedgehogs have coped with that for many years; we destroy environments, use slug pellets etc, coupled with climate change, all contribute to decline in hedghogs, not badger numbers.

Jane Rees

Charlie Mayo Where do you get 'mostly infected' from? I haven't seen that anywhere. As far as I know it has not been proven that badgers have any part to play in spreading bovine TB, more likely the cattle infect the badgers. Shooting is not done well alot of the time and is not an instant death. 'Calves not have a chance to live' – perhaps that's a blessing; look at the treatment of male calves in the dairy industry, treated like rubbish or imprisoned in tiny dark crates all their short miserable lives for veal? If you care about… Read more »

Jane Rees

Charlie Mayo Where do you get 'mostly infected' from? I haven't seen that anywhere. As far as I know it has not been proven that badgers have any part to play in spreading bovine TB, more likely the cattle infect the badgers. Shooting is not done well alot of the time and is not an instant death. 'Calves not have a chance to live' – perhaps that's a blessing; look at the treatment of male calves in the dairy industry, treated like rubbish or imprisoned in tiny dark crates all their short miserable lives for veal? If you care about… Read more »

Jane Rees

The badgers that are shot, sometimes badly, do not have TB in the vast majority of cases. Shooting badgers isn't helping farmers, in Wales the incidence of TB has declined by 80% after less than 2 years of VACCINATION!

Jane Rees

The badgers that are shot, sometimes badly, do not have TB in the vast majority of cases. Shooting badgers isn't helping farmers, in Wales the incidence of TB has declined by 80% after less than 2 years of VACCINATION!

Jane Rees

I think most animal lovers have sympathy for any and all animals suffering but if badgers aren't responsible for spreading TB then killing badgers doesn't help, just adds more suffering of innocent wild animals. Many people are turning away from meat and dairy once they see the realities of intensive farming methods and handling of animals without care or compassion. Spread of disease and mass use of antibiotics is a result of intensive farming, which has huge negative impacts on climate and environment. I am now vegan since I 'got real' and had my eyes opened to farming practices that… Read more »

Jane Rees

I think most animal lovers have sympathy for any and all animals suffering but if badgers aren't responsible for spreading TB then killing badgers doesn't help, just adds more suffering of innocent wild animals. Many people are turning away from meat and dairy once they see the realities of intensive farming methods and handling of animals without care or compassion. Spread of disease and mass use of antibiotics is a result of intensive farming, which has huge negative impacts on climate and environment. I am now vegan since I 'got real' and had my eyes opened to farming practices that… Read more »

Marta Falco

I think that in the recent past there hasn't been nearly enough control of cattle movement. Biosecurity hasn't been important and , testing more frequently. dairy cattle are also under massive stress to provide far far more milk than they would in a normal situation with a calf. It's just far to easy to blame the badgers.

Dorothy Rodgers
Dorothy Rodgers

How about we all stop eating meat? My sister and I both learned the truth about the barbaric slaughterhouses and factory farming, and agreed, that we will not participate in 'it' anymore. And with the farmers wanting all the wildlife gone, from wolves, and wild horses, and badgers, and prairie dogs……one more reason to not eat meat.

Jonathan Lambert
Jonathan Lambert

Yes , I'm glad it has . You talk complete shite ..

Vanessa Creed

WHAT CRAP!! you imply your cows are treated like pets!! yet you use them to your own ends and when no longer required too old to breed, produce milk, lame, etc etc they are sent off to be slaughtered. Is that called caring?? Also you are well subsidised. BUT YOU KNOW BEST!!!!!

Elizabeth Lean
Elizabeth Lean

also here in Cornwall I believe

Mandy Stewart
Mandy Stewart

Pete Goddard which part of Lincs is this please?

Elizabeth Allan

It is not only farmers who look after the countryside. Many country people look after local wildlife and the local farming stock when lazy farmers can't be bothered to check on their stock. Many times I have taken water to cattle who have none left. Farmers forget they farm to sell to consumers. I will not be buying any goods from supermarkets who support farms that are agreeing to the cull. Lets put these arrogant farmers out of business. Most of the farms that have agreed to the cull seem to be owned by landed gentry- who really don't give… Read more »

Maxine Mustoe
Maxine Mustoe

farmers have illegally been doing that for years, it is known on the circuit of badger people. yet the law never gets these people hauled before the courts!

Pete Goddard

Do you know that land owners in lincolnshire are killing badgers and leaving them at the side of the road?

Pete Goddard

I have seen so many badgers laying about the lincolnshire countryside i have started taking a camera out with me and photographing the bodies and recording where they are found.

Pamela Parkin

why do cull supporters find so much joy in killing for killings sake….the look of joy on their faces at the thought of destroying these animals almost equals my own at the thought sending the supporters into orbit for ever.

Avril Simms
Avril Simms

Animals are always blamed for human failings.. Its time we faced up to our responsibilities and stopped killing innocent defenceless creatures!

Pieter Cornelis

I prefer to live in a world where whe don't kill a single sentient being. This world is not today, but I have a dream, and how about another quote from Thomas A Edison '' Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages" , if you don't think so, well I do.
Thomas A Edison.

Charlie Mayo

Jane Kenmure im sorry, but you clearly have no experience on this subject what so ever. let me correct you, *mostly infected. i dont myself play computer games, bit busy farming for that. i know for a fact that a badger will feel no pain and no terror in being shot its over as soon as the trigger is pulled! and before you make such a stupid point as to say they are living creatures did you not think about the tens of thousands of cattle killed because of them? are they not living creatures? along with the unborn calves… Read more »

Charlie Mayo

what i cant understand about you badger obsessive bunch of people is that you would rather see two or three different species or animals that are under threat be put in even more danger because of one species!? that has no purpose what so ever. what is the sense in that? and that is without even touching the subject of tb in cattle! it saddens me to think you would rather let these disease ridden animals get out of control as they are protected and have no natural predator than save the lives of hundreds and thousands of cattle that… Read more »

Jane Deacon

There is no science to support a cull. Killing badgers will make no difference at all to the TB problem. 10 years on and we will still have TB and less badgers. Who will the farmers blame then, anything but themselves!

Sallie Cordery
Sallie Cordery

Drew Pratten, of GABS, said: "We are concerned not only about badger safety but the safety of other wildlife and families out in the countryside this summer.

"The cost of policing appears to be mounting beyond that which could be used to trap and shoot badgers in a more humane way or even vaccination.

Sallie Cordery
Sallie Cordery

It seems you are happy to trap and shoot badgers but object to free shooting.

Jane Kenmure
Jane Kenmure

Charlie Mayo Charlie Mayo. . I'm not being funny but how old are you? Have you left school yet? . . This slaughter of mostly HEALTHY badgers is not a computer game. It involves REAL PAIN, REAL TERROR, REAL DEATH to REAL FEELING LIVING CREATURES. So before you eagerly await the' getting of your way', as you put it, try and dig deep for a little empathy and understanding. Killing Badgers will NOT stop cattle getting Bovine TB or even significantly reduce it. It's pointless and cruel!

Sallie Cordery
Sallie Cordery

Why are you farmer bashing. It is not the farmers' who have arranged the cull but the government. As for not working for a living, you go and work on a farm for a week. I cannot believe the hate and insults posted on this. As for not missing farmers, where will you get your veg and fruit from let alone butter, cheese and milk? Or are you all vegans and happy to buy your produce from abroad?

Philippa McKee

What farmers think and what will happen will be a complete shambles… do you honestly think this gov can manage to sort this out… it will just make it a hundred times worse of course we feel for the farmers.. then why has the govs not helped you all this time? its been going on a long time.. this is not a badger BTB.. ITS BOVINE.. lets not forget this the cows have infected the badgers.. it is on the pasture land.. and bad bio security has made this worse and movement of stock… farmers deserve sympathy of course, but… Read more »

Philippa McKee

This cull is a travesty, the badgres scapegoat, for the mess govs have made, and the farmers bad bio security… we must all go to supermarkets that are anti cull… or give up milk… and meat… we must stand up for the badgers..this gov wont listen.. so don't vote tory vote labour they at least care for animals… its all crap anyways.. at least Labour banned hunting remember everyone David Cameron is a hunter… his hunt was done for still hunting.. lest not forget.

Joanne White

Sick of reading about violent characters on the pro-cull page wanting to get the gun out and shoot something for the sake of it. Concerned that they are looking forward to culling anything that is available. Using any excuse they can. This needs stopping.

Charlie Mayo

James Dollow no the only reason more hogs are getting killed by badgers is because there is simply to many of them for there own good. they compete like hell for food any this is the reason. not because of some rubbish about territory

Jean Mary Kirkman

As a farmer , what annoys me is that all the sympathy is for the badgers what about all the cows some in calf that are killed, have you badger supporters no sympathy for them, get real.

Carole Griffiths

Stop the cull Exactly, smacks of hypocrisy when they talk about how awful it is for them when they have to kill cattle because of TB, making it sound as if the cattle are pets! They don't seem to be so sentimental when they send them to the slaughterhouse.

MoonMama Buckland
MoonMama Buckland

There is NO scientific evidence to prove TB is passed from badgers to cattle. While cattle TB should be address and I sympathise with the difficulties farmers face, wild life should not be murdered just because they are a nuisance. Considering most cattle food contains GMO products, maybe that also needs looking into! The MP's have admitted the cull will not solve the issue so NO, killing badgers is not the answer..it's sick!

Jane Herbert
Jane Herbert

Just because they aren't cute and cuddly does not mean they need to die!! Also I very much doubt all cattle farmers will have disappeared by next year as the government have stated it will take at least 10 years for the cull to make around a 20% reduction in BTb!! Therefore the farmers will have to wait 10 years to achieve only a 20% decrease in cattle mortality in therir herds. If the situation is so despirate and they may disappear by next year if the cull doesn't go ahead it is unlikely they can wait 10 years for… Read more »

Jess Bartman
Jess Bartman

some of these posts about poor farming practice etc are an absolute joke. Badgers with Tb die a slow painful death in the meantime spreading the disease to the cattle they come into contact with. If you are so 'pro badgers' then why not allow them to be shot and put out of their misery rather than suffering for months. And farmers work harder than any of you lot in your 9-5 office jobs it takes over their lives so pipe down, let the farmers do what they need to sort their stock out and the townies stick to the… Read more »

Jess Bartman
Jess Bartman

Lazy bone idle dirty farmers? How dare you say that as it is entirely untrue. The farmers work way harder than you I bet they give up their lives to produce food for you dont be so rude.

Charlotte Peters Rock

No it should not. we already cull far too many on our roads. Time to cull the cullers. Also, if an area has TB then perhaps cattle should not be kept there. We slaughter far too readily.

Michael Hearn

Sickens me that Farming practices are so poor but instead of upsetting that powerful lobby we'll just kill Badgers instead.

Chris Lockey
Chris Lockey

Haydn Gleave Plus… you don't pay road tax on your pesky tractors and break the law using red diesel in your bloody 4×4's!!! The only protected species in this country is the selfish bloody FARMERS!!!