Stars Sign Up to Save England’s Badgers

100 Scientists, vets, conservationists, land managers and stars Sign Up to Save England’s Badgers

I am proud to add my signature as an earth-bound contribution.

Sir Roger Moore, Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed, Martin Shaw, Anthony Head and Virginia McKenna OBE  are among over one hundred celebrities, scientists, naturalists, veterinarians and leading animal welfare and conservation groups to have signed a statement calling on the Government to stop the badger cull.  In a plea for compassion, the signatories ask the Government for its policy of killing to be abandoned and replaced with more scientifically credible, humane and effective solutions to tackling bovine TB (bTB).

The joint statement reads:

We the undersigned ask the government to stop the badger cull and to implement instead the more sustainable and humane solution of vaccination, improved testing and better bio-security

Two pilot culls intended to test the safety, efficacy and humaneness of killing badgers by free shooting or cage trapping and shooting are planned to begin any day now for a period of six weeks in undisclosed areas of West Somerset and West Gloucestershire.  If deemed successful, these plans could then be rolled out further, throughout the West Country to Derbyshire and the Midlands, in the mistaken belief that killing badgers will have a significant impact on the spread of  bTB.  Up to ten licences will be issued each year for four years, possibly resulting in the killing of as many as 130,000 badgers according to Natural England.

London against the cull Westminster copyright Gordon McGlone PhotonNatura

London against the cull Westminster copyright Gordon McGlone PhotonNatura

The signatories stand in solidarity with 263,000 members of the British public who have so far signed the Stop the Cull petition launched by astrophysicist and rock guitarist Dr Brian May.  It is the most successful ever H.M. Government e-petition.  Brian May founded Team Badger whose member groups including Save Me, the League Against Cruel Sports, IFAW, Humane Society International/UK, Blue Badger and the RSPCA, have been joined by a host of other organisations adding their support to the joint statement, such as the RSPB, Woodland Trust, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.  Their joint outreach is to approximately four million members of the public, who subscribe to these organisations in order to protect wildlife and conserve the countryside for future generations.

A full list of signatories here.

 

 

Dr Brian May CBE, Rock Star, Scientist and man of the people copyright Gordon McGlone PhotoNatura

Dr Brian May CBE, Rock Star, Scientist and man of the people copyright Gordon McGlone PhotoNatura

Brian May – Save Me, said:

On behalf of supporters of the Save-Me campaign and 263,000 signatories of the anti-badger cull petition on the Government’s website, we would like to remind the Government that there is massive public opposition to this ill-fated cull, which, it is becoming ever more clear, will not be of any advantage to cattle or farmers. The Government is acting, for political motives, on a course which cannot succeed in eradicating Bovine TB.  We urge David Cameron to take positive action to accelerate progress towards vaccination of wildlife and, most importantly, vaccination of the source of bTB in this country, cattle, along with full review of the skin test method of removing supposed reactive animals from herds, and an overhaul of biosecurity and movement control measures.

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Simon King said:

Ten years of study, the leading scientific brains, all said the cull of badgers will do nothing to improve the condition of cows and more importantly the status of bovine tuberculosis in the British Isles.  This cull is a travesty –do not let it happen.
“We all want to see an end to Bovine Tuberculosis in the British Isles.  Killing badgers is not the way forward.  All the science clearly points to the cull being a waste of time, a waste of money and a waste of life.  Ban the cull.”

The organisations within Team Badger and the Badger Trust which has issued this news release on behalf of all signatories, care equally about badgers and cattle and do not believe a cull is the answer to bovine TB. Science shows that a badger cull will be of little help in reducing this disease in cattle and yet at least 70 per cent of the badger population – the majority of which is likely to be healthy – will be wiped out in the pilot areas, a virtual elimination of this iconic British species.    This cannot be allowed to happen.

The letter was sent by email to David Cameron MP, Nick Clegg MP, Owen Paterson MP and Mary Creagh MP.

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Posted on August 14th 2013 under Badgers and Bovine TB, Leader for Nature, News & Press. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Comments on this post

  • Jayne Ashcroft

    Its ridiculous and cruel when there are much better ways to control the situation! !

    August 14, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • Jacqueline Faulknall

    Please listen to the people who are knowledgable about this issue. It seems utterly pig headed to ignore the science.

    August 14, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • I am sure that Cameron will wish he had stopped this cull. It’s not just cruel, inhumane, pointless, a waste of valuable money that could be spent on vaccination and better animal husbandry but, people could get shot. When you have people out shooting in the night and missing moving targets, those bullets travel miles….
    There are many Tories against this cull but Mr Cameron is arrogant and feels he cannot afford another U turn to save his face.

    August 14, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • This will be a travesty. The badgers are not to blame. Some farmers have numerous setts on their land with no problems at all. This is down to good farming practise. The government obviously thinks it has to be seen to be doing something just to placate the few. I believe this can be carried by other creatures also, cats being one of them. Just imagine the outcry if they were being targeted and shot on sight. Get real Cameron and Patterson and listen to the people who know. Once they have been wiped out in a sett then others will move in and possibly the ones shot were bTB free and the ones moving in are not so the spread will get worse not better.

    August 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment
  • I listened to the debate on tv and Iv’e never heard such a load of bull in my life. It was obvious that Patterson & co did not know what they were talking about. They said it was going to be impossible for the ‘ordinary’ person to handle and vaccinate a caged badger. What a load of tripe. We have been handling Badgers for years as a rehab unit and have not had any training and no problems. There are hundreds of people out there just ready and willing to volunteer for this vaccination program if only they had the chance.

    August 16, 2013 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

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