RSPCA to fight on against badger cull

The RSPCA has vowed to continue in its fight to stop the planned badger cull, after MPs voted in favour of the measure on 5 June.

MPs voted 299 to 250 in the House of Commons, despite Labour’s opposition to the cull. Chief executive for the RSPCA Gavin Grant said: “We fight on. This vote flies in the face of scientific and public opinion. We are grateful to those MPs who spoke out against the cull. We stand ready to work with those who want to vaccinate and save lives rather than cull and kill.”

The RSPCA said that the solution to bovine TB (bTB) involves vaccinating badgers and cattle, as well as ensuring better farm biosecurity and cattle controls. However, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee published a report that said bTB vaccination was “no magic bullet” shortly before the vote. Hours before MPs voted, a lengthy debate was held in Parliament where issues surrounding the badger cull were discussed.

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) deputy president Meurig Raymond said: “As many MPs said in [the] debate, until we have a comprehensive strategy that bears down on the disease in wildlife, this disease will continue to run out of control.

“Farmers are doing all they can to help prevent TB in cattle through rigorous testing, movement controls and biosecurity measures. The two pilot culls taking place this year are an essential step in delivering this comprehensive plan and must be allowed to proceed without interference.”