The Badger Trust has lost a legal challenge to stop the culling of badgers in Gloucestershire in an attempt to combat bovine tuberculosis (TB)
ANIMAL rights campaigners have lost their battle to stop the government’s planned badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
The Badger Trust had launched a legal challenge into the government’s plans to combat bovine tuberculosis (TB), which costs the UK more than £100m a year.
However, the legal challenge was dismissed at the High Court last week, and the cull is expected to begin in the north-west of the county in the Autumn.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust chief executive Gordon McGlone said the organisation accepted that badgers played a key role in the spread of bovine TB, but that its preferred option was to vaccinate the creatures rather than kill them.
“Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has been leading on a small scale deployment of the Badger BCG vaccine on a number of its nature reserves since 2011,” he said.
“The Trust’s programme is designed to demonstrate the practicality of utilising the vaccine that already exists for supporting bovine TB control within badgers.”
He added he hoped the government would make the option of vaccinating the badgers more attractive to farmers and landowners by subsidising the cost.
“Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will continue to work with the farming industry and to use its knowledge and practical experience of bovine TB to support the development of the long term measures that are critical to the control of this serious cattle disease issue.”