24th Nov, 2020

County chiefs to raise concerns with DEFRA over badger culling in Warwickshire

COUNTY chiefs are set to write to environmental body DEFRA to raise concerns over badger culling in Warwickshire.

The move was agreed after a motion was put forward to urge the government to explore options other than culling to ‘enable a sustainable approach to bovine TB control’.

The motion was proposed by Green county councillor Keith Kondakor and seconded by Green leader Coun Jonathan Chilvers.

It was passed with the following statement: “This council recognises that farming is a very important part of the Warwickshire economy and that the county council supports farming in many ways including through its own small holdings. The council further recognises that bovine tuberculosis in cattle is a very serious problem for farmers which needs long term sustainable action, including the development of accurate testing and an effective bovine vaccine.”

The original motion also included a proposal to promote better bio-security, including badger vaccination among tenants of small-holdings. But this was removed in an amended version, along with the suggestion the county council would help DEFRA explore alternative options.

Coun Kondakor was disappointed with the amendment. He said: “I am very angry that the county council did not vote to support improving bio-security and promote vaccinating badgers on the county council owned farms. There should be no question that these are positive measures, and they are supported by science. The badger cull has been an expensive failure which should not be extended into Warwickshire.”

The motion follows the government’s recent authorisation of the largest ever badger cull this autumn, including an extension to Warwickshire for the first time.

It comes in spite of the government’s promise, just six months ago, to support badger vaccination and move away from shooting the protected species after a scientific review cast doubt on its effectiveness.

It is believed the cull will result in the deaths of badgers that have been vaccinated by volunteers in government-funded programmes.

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