Badger culls confirmed in Dorset

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is shocked and deeply saddened to learn the news that there will be a badger cull in Dorset this year, in a misguided attempt to control the spread of the devastating disease bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

The conservation charity, with over 25,000 members will not allow badger culling on any of its 44 nature reserves throughout Dorset.

DWT’s Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps said, “The decision to carry out a badger cull in Dorset flies in the face of scientific evidence, public opinion and the wishes of parliament. The culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire have already shown to be neither effective nor humane, and as a result, a failure. The cost of culling is also high, at £3353 per badger during the trial culls of 2013*, and this doesn’t include policing costs.  Dorset Wildlife Trust owns a herd of cattle itself, so we understand how deeply concerned farmers in Dorset are for their livestock contracting this terrible disease, but we will continue to support alternatives to culling that have a far better chance of restricting the disease.  Culling badgers is not the answer.”

DWT started a five-year badger vaccination programme in 2013 on selected nature reserves in west and north Dorset, in order to demonstrate that there are alternatives to badger culling.       Dr Cripps added, “We now have four of our reserves involved with badger vaccinations which we hope will help in time to stop transmissions from badger to cattle, and vice versa.”

DWT wants to see the eradication of the devastating disease Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) and understands the serious implications for farmers who lose stock as a result, but believes there are more effective and reliable ways of controlling the disease, such as better biosecurity, badger vaccination and, in the longer term, cattle vaccination. 

To help us continue our badger vaccination programme and donate to the appeal, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/protectingbadgers.  For more information about bovine tuberculosis (bTB) our vaccination programme and our position on badger culling, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/badgers.

Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org.uk/badgers to download a letter template and write to your MP to urge them to put pressure on the government to put a stop to the cull.