The RSPCA has welcomed the vote by Westminster MPs to stop the roll-out of the pilot badger culls.

It has always been the position of the charity that the badger cull was not only inhumane, but would also be an ineffective way of controlling the spread of bovine TB.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We are delighted MPs have listened to the advice of the experts and voted overwhelmingly to abandon the badger cull.

“Secretary of state Owen Paterson now has to listen to the voice of Parliament and discard any plans to roll-out the cull further. Any decision to continue would be flying in the face of scientists, public opinion and of elected MPs. The Government should now commit to a full debate.

“More than 1,800 badgers were slaughtered last year as part of the Government’s misguided badger culling policy and it is estimated as many as 100,000 will be under threat if it insists on going ahead with rolling out the cull.”

He added: “The RSPCA, alongside many other organisations, has always maintained the methods used in the cull would not be humane and that culling is not the answer to effectively controlling bovine TB.

“We firmly believe the use of vaccination, along with improved biosecurity, will lead to a decrease in new cases of bovine TB, as it has in Wales, and both farmers and wildlife campaigners can move forward in tackling this disease together.

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