By Deirdre Tynan •
Published: 08 Sep 2021 • 15:21
The RSPCA has said it is dismayed at the Government’s decision to expand the badger cull by issuing licences to seven new parts of England despite recently pledging to phase out culling.
According to the animal charity, up to 75,930 badgers could be shot this year in the continuing flawed attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB. The new licences will result in badger culling being permitted in zones in Hampshire, Berkshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and two parts of Shropshire.
The devastating news comes despite the Westminster Government making a commitment to move away from culling badgers in favour of vaccinating and to develop more cattle based measures such as a more sophisticated TB testing regime.
Adam Grogan, head of the RSPCA’s wildlife department, said, “We are completely dismayed that the Government is insisting on persisting with its inhumane and ineffective badger cull despite its commitment to ‘government-supported badger vaccination and surveillance’.
“It is appalling news that the cull is to be extended to another seven regions, given the Government’s welcome announcement earlier this year that it would move away from culling towards badger vaccination, the development of cattle vaccination, more frequent and improved cattle testing, better management of cattle movements and incentives to improve biosecurity.
“Vaccination of cattle and badgers is key. Vaccination of cattle started this summer in a groundbreaking trial and inoculating badgers can reduce prevalence of the disease in those animals. Data from Wales implies that it may have had an impact in reducing cattle herd prevalence as well,” he added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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