Crusading Against Animal Cruelty

Elizabeth Truss:
Do the right thing for Badgers 

Contrary to popular belief, the badger culls were not cancelled by Owen Paterson, despite public outcry and reports of failure by his own Independent Expert Panel. There is currently a badger cull set to run again in 2014 in the same two counties as last year: Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Prior to Paterson's sacking, he controversially refused to allow the same Independent Expert Panel to review his planned 2014 badger cull. Instead it was his intention to use two of the government's own organisations 'Natural England' and the 'Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency' (AHVLA) to monitor the new cull.

We believe that is it basic common sense and elementary science to keep the scrutinising bodies the same year-on-year. How can the farmers and scientific community take the results of a cull seriously if the government change the monitoring team as soon as they report negative results? It is like a person on a diet trading in their weighing scales for a more friendly set.

Network for Animals believe that if two of the government's own departments are to monitor a cull in 2014, they will be too susceptible to internal pressure to provide independent, unbiased results. Given this situation, we fear that in 2015, a rollout of the badger cull to further counties is extremely likely.

We urge our supporters to contact the new Secretary of State for the Environment to immediately reinstate the Independent Expert Panel for the proposed 2014 culls, and if in any doubt about this, for her to accept our Team Badger colleague, Badger Trust's invitation to meet prior to their August high court challenge against the cull: