The Labour Party has announced it will table an Opposition Day debate on the government’s plans for a badger cull next Wednesday (5 June).
Announcing the move, Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary said: “The Tory-led government are pressing ahead with the free shooting of badgers despite leading scientists warning against this ‘untested and risky approach’.
“A cull would be bad for badgers, bad for farmers and bad for taxpayers. The taxpayer will pay policing costs of £4m for just two areas, while the cull will spread bovine TB in the next two years as the shooting displaces badgers.”
Ms Creagh added: “Labour is calling a vote on the cull next Wednesday and we will be working with MPs from all parties to stop this crazy scheme.
“We need a science-led policy to manage cattle movements better and prioritise badger and cattle vaccination to tackle bovine TB instead of a cull.”
The wording for the motion reads “This House believes the badger cull should not go ahead”.
The vote will show the view of parliament on the cull, but it is not legally binding on the government, which insists the policy must go ahead.
“If they win the vote, it will formally show the will of parliament. However, it is not legislation and it is not legally binding,” explained a parliamentary source.
Last October, a backbench parliamentary vote voted against the cull. However, in Wednesday’s debate and vote, members of the government will be allowed to have their say.