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Campaigners take badger cull fight to Europe

19 November 1998
Campaigners take badger cull fight to Europe

WILDLIFE campaigners have stepped up their fight against the culling of thousands of badgers during the Governments impending investigation into tuberculosis in cattle …more…


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Campaigners take badger cull fight to Europe

19 November 1998
Campaigners take badger cull fight to Europe

By Johann Tasker

WILDLIFE campaigners have stepped up their fight against the culling of thousands of badgers during the Governments impending investigation into tuberculosis in cattle.

The campaigners claim that the Governments study will mean the slaughter of an estimated 20,000 badgers and breach the Bern Convention, which protects European wildlife.

In an effort to get the cull halted, the conservationists will take their case to the conventions annual meeting in Strasbourg early next month.

“Our legal advisers say weve got a very strong case,” said Elaine King, conservation officer for the National Federation of Badger Groups.

“We cant make the Government change its plans but we can cause them a lot of embarrassment.”

Ministry of Agriculture officials have already identified the first sites in the trial which aims to determine a link between TB in badgers and cattle.

Traps are now being laid and pre-baited in the Putford area of Devon. Within the next two weeks, ministry wildlife workers will start culling an estimated 500 badgers in the region.

Dr King claimed that the Government had inadequately examined alternative methods of controlling TB in badgers before embarking on the cull.

Staff at MAFF laboratories have analysed badgers livers to determine whether or not trace elements can help boost immunity to the disease.

But the results of the study are still being scrutinised to ensure reliability before they are made public.

“Once they have been peer reviewed we expect to publish them,” said junior farm minister Jeff Rooker in a letter to Farmers Weekly.

“We will also assess them to see if more focused research in this area is warranted.”

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