Wednesday, 15 March 2017

By Dr Mark Jones

UK badgers need your urgent help. Please quickly contact your MP!


UK badger culls to be debated in Westminster on 27th March

Urge your MP to attend the debate and oppose further killing


Almost 15,000 badgers have been shot over the past four years as part of the Government’s strategy to ‘control the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle’.


Culling has taken place across ten zones in seven English counties. Around half of the badgers have been killed by ‘controlled shooting’ (the targeting of free-roaming badgers attracted to bait points at night, using rifles); the remainder were killed by trapping and shooting.


Defra and Natural England have failed to produce any evidence the killing is having an impact on bovine TB in cattle. None of the killed badgers were tested for bovine TB. Controlled shooting has been rejected by the British Veterinary Association because of animal welfare concerns. The culls have cost the taxpayer an estimated £40 million to date, with no sign of any benefit.


Yet the Government wants to roll out the culls to more parts of England and extend the licenses for existing cull zones. 100,000 or more badgers could suffer and lose their lives in the coming years, and badgers could disappear from large swathes of the English countryside. All for nothing.


Last month, naturalist and broadcaster Simon King’s e-petition calling for the culls to be abandoned topped 100,000 signatures. This forced the Government to announce a debate on the policy, in Westminster Hall on 27th March.


We need to ensure as many MPs as possible attend the debate, and call for the policy to be abandoned.


Please contact your MP (, and politely ask him or her:

  • To attend the Westminster Hall debate on 27th March
  • To point out that badger culls have had no impact on bovine TB in cattle, while causing immense suffering to thousands of badgers
  • To emphasise the culls have cost a huge amount of public money for no clear gain (clearly unacceptable given the pressure on public finances)
  • To reiterate the widespread public opposition to the culls
  • To call for badger culls to be abandoned, and for the adoption of the strict cattle testing and trade restriction measures that have proved so effective in Wales at reducing the impact of bovine TB in cattle.

Join us on 27th March at Westminster @ 2:30pm. More details here:


Born Free will be taking part in a public gathering outside Westminster in advance of the debate, alongside like-minded celebrities, colleagues from other NGOs, and members of the public.


Read more: Born Free



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