Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust - Badger cull to proceed - July 2012
The outcome of the Judicial review into the Badger Trust’s challenge to two badger cull pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset has been announced today.
Mr Justice Ouseley handed down judgement against the Badger Trust v Secretary Of State For Environment Food & Rural Affairs.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust recognises that legal due process has been followed and that a badger cull pilot will now take place in North West Gloucestershire in the Autumn.
Dr Gordon McGlone, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Chief Executive said:
“Bovine TB is a serious disease of cattle that is continuing to spread within the national herd. The Trust accepts that badgers act as a ‘wildlife reservoir’ of bovine TB and that this reservoir plays a part in the disease cycle.
“Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has been leading on a small scale deployment of the BadgerBCG vaccine on a number of its nature reserves since 2011. The Trust’s programme is designed to demonstrate the practicality of utilising the vaccine that already exists for supporting bovine TB control within badgers. Our programme will continue until 2016 and we will share our experiences with farmers, land owners, decision makers and the public.
“The Trust is pleased that the use of BadgerBCG vaccine will form part of the badger cull pilots. However, I would urge the government to make the BadgerBCG vaccine more attractive to the farming community by further subsidising its cost. If used effectively in the periphery of the cull, scientific modelling has suggested that Badger bTB vaccine could give a further reduction in bTB cattle reactors of between 4% and 8%.
“The Trust believes that the future development of an oral badger bTB vaccine and a cattle vaccine are critical if the disease is to be controlled. I am pleased that our nature reserves have been used for bTb oral badger vaccine research. I am also encouraged that our work with MEPs on EU regulatory issues has brought the bTB cattle vaccine issue to the attention of Commissioner Dalli.
“Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will continue to work with the farming industry and to use its knowledge and practical experience of bTB to support the development of the long term measures that are critical to the control of this serious cattle disease issue.”