Cheshire Wildlife Trust is asking supporters to add their name to a new e-petition calling for an end to the badger cull and no expansion to new areas.
The Wildlife Trusts’ President Emeritus, Simon King OBE, launched the e-petition (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165672) on the Government's website following yesterday's announcement that seven new licences for badger culling have been granted, covering parts of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. These areas are in addition to the existing cull areas in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset which are part of a four-year trial cull, as yet incomplete.
Earlier this year a badger culling licence was submitted for the first time in Cheshire.
Charlotte Harris, Chief Executive of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said: "We are firmly opposed to the culling of badgers and while we are very relieved that Cheshire has not been included in this announcement, we would urge our supporters to sign this new petition.
"The culls to-date have been found to be repeatedly flawed in their methodology, measures and objectives – they missed their targets, were expensive and their impact on the TB problem, if any, is uncertain.
"We believe that controlling the spread of the devastating disease Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle requires implementation of a package of measures and we advocate alternatives to badger culling – we're one of a number of local organisations, including Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group and Chester Zoo, that have been carrying out a badger vaccination programmes in Cheshire.
"We are, of course, sympathetic to those whose cattle are affected by this disease, but we urge the Government to consider the scientific evidence which indicates that the cull will not significantly reduce Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle."
Simon King said: “Any extension of badger culling into new areas should be prevented. The scientific evidence demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and risks making the problem even worse. The impact of bovine TB is painful, disruptive and distressing to the lives and businesses of farmers – but culling is not the solution and gives farmers false hope.”