The BVA has backed the roll-out of badger cage trapping and culling in the light of a BBC report that the controversial operation is to expand into five new areas of south-west England.

However, the BVA continues its opposition to the use of controlled shooting as a method of killing free-range badgers.

Comprehensive strategy

Badger cull area
Section of “Badger Cull Area” by Jayneandd. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

BVA president Sean Wensley said: “The BVA recognises the need to control the wildlife reservoir of disease as part of a comprehensive strategy to eradicate bTB. Therefore, control measures in cattle must be accompanied by simultaneous and coordinated control measures in badgers and susceptible farmed species.

“For these reasons, the BVA supports the wider roll-out of culling to carefully selected areas where badgers are regarded as a significant contributor to the high incidence of bTB in cattle, through the use of cage trapping and shooting only. We do not support the continued use of controlled shooting as part of the badger control policy.”

Cull begins

It is understood the shooting of badgers will begin in early September in:

  • South Devon
  • North Devon
  • North Cornwall
  • West Dorset
  • south Herefordshire

According to Defra, England has the highest rate of bTB in Europe, which results in thousands of cattle being slaughtered every year.

The RSPCA is renewing calls for the culls to be stopped and a more proactive approach taken with a focus on cattle husbandry through improved biosecurity and better cattle control measures be adopted to tackle the problem of bTB.

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3 Comments on "BVA supports extension of badger culling trials"

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Trude
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Trude
7 months 30 days ago

Disgraceful by the BVA. You’re supposed to be scientists! No scientist would look at the evidence and agree with a cull. Absolute disgrace.

Mark Jones
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Mark Jones
7 months 28 days ago
Before the BVA gives its support for any wildlife intervention, particularly one which will see a protected native species being blown to pieces in large numbers by gunmen at night in our countryside, there are surely a number of basic criteria that should be satisfied: • The intervention should be based on good science; • There should be a substantial, predictable and measurable benefit from the intervention; • The intervention should be humane and socially acceptable; • There should be no effective alternative method of achieving the desired outcome; • Any unintended consequences (such as impacts on non-target animals or… Read more »
andy hamilton
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andy hamilton
7 months 28 days ago
Given the lack of evidence that badgers have more than a negligible effect on TB incidence in cattle and in light of the DEFRA Chief Vet’s statement that the current skin test for TB in cattle can leave over 20% of infected cattle undetected it must surely be clear that the ‘reservoir’ of infection is in herds, not in wildlife. Perhaps the BVA can explain why in Wales big strides have been made in reducing TB incidence without slaughtering badgers while in England it is increasing both inside and outside the cull zones, in Ireland 30 years of culling badgers… Read more »
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