Badger campaigners reach Worcestershire

By Gary Smee Thursday 22 May 2014 Updated: 23/05 09:06

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Buy photos » Operation Badger members Di Pugh, Ruthie McNally, Roberta Balfour and Pauline Burgess handed in a 1,400 name signature to County Hall calling for a ban on culling on council owned land. Picture by Gary Smee.

CAMPAIGNERS calling for the 'inhumane' cull of badgers to be prevented in parts of Worcestershire have handed in a petition to the county council.

Members of Operation Badger, wearing full badger costumes, presented the 1,400 signature document at County Hall last Thursday (May 15).

The petition calls for the council to ban any culling of the animal on its land when the Government rolls out the programme to other parts of the county in 2015 following a trial in Gloucestershire and Somerset last year.

Badger culling involves killing the animals on a large scale in a bid to prevent Bovine Tuberculosis spreading to cattle.

However the group have slammed the policy branding it deeply flawed. They claimed the pilot runs failed and said figures showed only a small proportion of bovine TB was spread from badgers to cows and the majority was spread from cattle to cattle.

The campaigners have called on the Government to instead look at better controls for the movement of cows as well as support for farmers.

They also urged leading politicians to divert funds from more pilot tests to developing a badger vaccine for the disease.

Operation Badger, which is a national group, has already seen its members hand in petitions to other councils and hold protests throughout the country ahead of the planned roll out.

Pauline Burgess who handed in the petition to the county council said she wanted the council to show their support.

"At least those badgers will be safe and it will send a message to the Government the British public doesn't want badgers culled," she said.

"They're an iconic British mammal and the public want to keep them."

Di Pugh said they were particularly worried in Worcestershire as a number of landowners had already applied to DEFRA for a licence to kill badgers.

"There are so many things farmers can do rather than just kill badgers," she added.

A spokesman from Worcestershire County Council said the petition had been sent to the appropriate officers to make a response and it would also be dealt with by Coun John Campion, responsible for transformation and change, at the council.

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