“There will be no culling of badgers on Hampshire county land.”
That was the message sent loud and clear from the County Council after a Liberal Democrat motion to ban badger culling on county owned land was unanimously supported at a Full Council meeting in Winchester today.
With pilot badger culls aimed at destroying around 5000 badgers already underway in Somerset and Gloucestershire in a bid to curb the spread of Bovine TB in cattle, councillors on all sides supported Liberal Democrat Councillor Rupert Kyrle’s motion to ban badger culling on county owned or leased land. Councillor Kyrle successfully argued that culling was not a proven solution to the problem, and called on more scientific evidence from government on the issue.
In the motion, it states that the science behind a cull “is not proven nor conclusive that a cull of badgers is the answer to eradicating Bovine TB from the countryside”. It also insists that “more research should be undertaken by Government and the scientific community to find more effective and cheaper vaccinations for badgers and cattle to help eradicate this terrible and costly disease from the countryside.”
Commenting on the ban, Councillor Rupert Kyrle said, “This is a great day for badgers in Hampshire! It was great to see Councillors of all political colours coming together to send a strong message to government over their misguided support of badger culling. We all want to see a real solution to prevent the spread of Bovine TB across our countryside, but it is not right that badgers should be singled out in this way. To make matters worse, taxpayers are being made to pay for the slaughtering of native species when the evidence in favour of the cull is shaky and inconclusive. We must protect our countryside, and that includes the species that make it their home.”
photo of badger courtesy of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (Credit: Dr David Williams for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife