Govt to Kill More Badgers


English Badgers Set For Targeted Culls

Coalition agreement likely to delight farmers but enrage animal welfare groups

Ministers are preparing to order targeted badger culls in England in a move that will delight farmers who believe it the prime factor in the spread of TB through their dairy herds – and enrage many animal welfare groups.

The new coalition agreement released by Downing Street today says: "As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis."

A cull is due to start in west Wales soon, after a failed legal challenge by critics. But the previous Labour administration ruled out the measure in England, insisting scientific research suggested it could actually help spread the disease faster as animals fled the kill zones.

However, David King, chief scientific adviser for some of the past 13 years, said culling could be successful in contained areas. Ministers have always been wary, though, of public opposition to killing members of a species which is protected by law.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, , confirmed that it would develop plans for the culls.


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