Dori Edwards, Global Animal
The newly appointed English Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson believes the only way to solve the tuberculosis epidemic effecting England’s cows is to establish a badger cull. Since there is evidence that badgers are spreading the disease to the cattle, Paterson is ordering the execution of 50,000 badgers over a four year period and has given local farmers a license to kill.
Paterson has made many attempts to justify the genocide by claiming that not only is it better for the cows and government expenditures, but for the badgers. “We don’t want to see badgers dying of this horrible disease,” he says. The secretary ‘s childhood pet badgers, Bessie and Baz, inspired public reassurance that he is “the last person who wants to see any badgers killed unnecessarily.”
However, this situation in itself is unnecssary. A previous badger culling trial led by Professor John Krebs was proven ineffective and reduced only 16% of the tuberculosis outbreak. The randomized badger culling trial (RBCT) concluded that reduction in cattle tuberculosis was not effective long term and did not “offset financial costs of culling.” Shropshire Wildlife Trust is offering alternative methods to prevent tuberculosis, including a five year trial vaccination program for badgers at a nearby reserve, but all attempts to prevent the cull were rejected by the Court of Appeals this week. Badger culling will commence this winter.
Television wildlife expert Bill Oddie has publicly slandered Paterson for his “arrogant” and “ignorant” political decision. According to Oddie, he has little
“respect for science” or “compassion,” and we could not agree more. Paterson is risking the survival of the badger species, especially since the government is currently unaware of the population number in culling territories. The hypocritical stance on murdering in the name of love is cruel and unjustified. Murdering the innocent always is.
You can help stop the badger cull by signing the petition. Your signature can help stop a species genocide.