Badger cub © RSPCA

06.06.13

We have vowed to continue our fight to stop the Westminster Government’s planned cull of badgers in England.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 5 June) MPs voted narrowly against an opposition motion to reverse the government’s misguided strategy aimed at combating bovine TB.

Voting close despite three-line whip

MPs voted 299 to 250 against proposals to stop the cull going ahead in two pilot areas in Somerset and Gloucestershire – a narrower margin than the government has in the House of Commons despite the three-line whip enforced.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said:

“We fight on. This vote flies in the face of scientific and public opinion. We are grateful to those MPs who spoke out against the cull and particularly those who defied the government’s three line whip.

“There can be little doubt that had MPs been free to express their views through a free vote there would have been a large majority against the cull as there was last October.

“The only real way forward is the vaccination of both cattle and badgers, better biosecurity and control of cattle movements.”

Vaccination needs investement

The debate follows a report issued by the EFRA select committee this morning which said more investment is urgently needed into vaccination as a solution for bovine TB.

One of the earliest actions of this coalition government was the ridiculous decision to cancel five of the six badger vaccination projects planned – a policy the RSPCA believes was short-sighted.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said:

“Much more needs to be done to bring forward the timetable for the development of effective oral vaccination programmes for both cattle and badgers as the EFRA  report says.

“Meanwhile we stand ready to work with those who want to vaccinate and save lives rather than cull and kill.”

Exposing the myths behind the cull

Team Badger recently released a report that refutes the top 10 arguments to support the cull of badgers. Download the report now. Badger cull myths exposed (PDF 76.8KB)