THE recent high profile fight to save the life of Geronimo the alpaca should remind us all of the wildlife horror happening outside our own homes in Stroud. Geronimo, tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis, , 4 years ago and he is now at threat of being slaughtered as a result of this test, despite being in fine health. This once again highlights the disgrace of the government’s treatment of our badgers as part of their plans to eliminate bTB in cattle.

The government’s badger cull policy has resulted in the death of over 140,000 badgers nationwide since 2012 and of 3,000 badgers in the Stroud area alone over the last 3 years. This is despite the government’s own experts stating that badger culling is a distraction in the fight to end bTB in cattle and the success of the Welsh Government in fighting the disease without widespread badger culling.

The test used on Geronimo, like the one used on cattle, is badly flawed. This means that results are often wrong and cattle to cattle transmission of disease is still the major cause of the spread of the disease. Despite this, badgers continue to be blamed and the government tries to pretend that the culling of badgers is coming to an end, which it is not. Culling of badgers has started once again around Stroud. At the same time there continues to be many outbreaks of the disease in the district as the government continues to fail to get a grip on the real cause of the problem which is an inadequate test and excessive cattle movements. Surely it’s time for the slaughter of our badgers to stop.

Jeanne Berry