Rugby campaigners: don’t kill county’s badgers

Pictured: Noreen New & Stephen Trotter (Warwickhsire Wildlife Trust), who together are in support of vaccinations for badgers, in a bid to fight tuberculosis and in preference to a badger culling.
Pictured: Noreen New & Stephen Trotter (Warwickhsire Wildlife Trust), who together are in support of vaccinations for badgers, in a bid to fight tuberculosis and in preference to a badger culling.
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CONTROVERSIAL badger culling has caused concern for local wildlife lovers.

The Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman recently announced plans to proceed with the culls in an attempt to control the spread of Bovine TB.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is calling on the Government to put bio-security and vaccination at the centre of efforts to control this disease and to help avoid the killing what the trust says is one of our most popular native wildlife species.

Stephen Trotter, chief executive of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, believes a cull would be ineffective. He said: “The trust doesn’t want to see either cattle or badgers killed because of TB.

The only long-term solution is to vaccinate badgers and cattle.”

He said action needs to be taken to save the badgers now.

Mr Trotter added: “Whilst we await the development of a vaccine for cattle, we would like to start a programme of vaccinating badgers to help ease the problem locally.”

Rugby borough councillor Noreen New (Lib Dem, Paddox) is supporting the vaccination programme and will be calling on the council to back it by allowing the trust to carry out the vaccinations on badgers living on council owned land within the borough.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that culling in highly affected areas can constrain a disease that is costing about £100m per year and necessitates the death of tens of thousands of cattle.

Cllr New added: “This announcement by the Environment Secretary could see thousands of healthy badgers killed unnecessarily, which would mean that badger populations could decline by more than 70 per cent.

“Scientific studies show that culling would be an expensive and ineffective way of controlling the disease and could actually make things worse, as any disruption to their territory increases the risk of badgers roaming and mixing with other social groups.”

If you wish to support the appeal, visit www.wkwt.org.uk