Environment Secretary Owen Patterson has today confirmed the Government will not roll out further badger culls. His statement is in response to the Independent Expert Panel’s (IEP) report into last summer’s culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Liberal Democrats in Government have argued consistently that it would be inappropriate to roll out the culls to other areas following the IEP’s report, which criticised aspects of the current culls and pointed out flaws in the system that need to be addressed.
Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Kate Parminter said:
“The IEP report was clear, last summer’s culls were ineffective and in some rare cases, possibly inhumane.
“Liberal Democrats have argued consistently that further roll out, in light of these criticisms, would be unwise, until we have addressed the issues in the report. Today’s decision not to roll the culls out further is a victory for the Liberal Democrats and for good sense.
“Abandoning the current culls at this point would actually lead to an increase of the disease in the wildlife reservoir which is why it is important that the culls have not been abandoned altogether, but will continue with an adjusted methodology aimed to ensure that as they progress these two culls will be both humane and effective.
“It’s also great news that more money has been made available for vaccination projects, culling is only one element in the fight to control TB and Lib Dems have always strongly supported greater use of vaccination.”