Mike Pratt, the wildlife charity’s chief executive said: “It is a sad day for the natural world. I have loved badgers all my life and deeply regret that badger culls are proceeding despite the strength of scientific and public opinion against them. No Wildlife Trust in the United Kingdom will allow culling on its land.
“Although the wildlife trust movement may not agree with this decision, indeed we disagree strongly with it, we shall continue to engage in two way dialogue with everyone on this issue.
“We are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB causes the farming community, however science clearly shows that a badger cull is not the solution, in fact, the shooting of badgers could make the problem worse in affected areas.
Mike continued: “We believe that the Government’s job is to lead, not to follow one part of its constituency blindly and not to ignore the many other constituencies with hundreds of thousands of supporters and decades of experience. This is not a respectful or engaging way to govern.
“DEFRA’s flawed badger cull policy is a tragic distraction from tackling this devastating disease. There are other options in which it should invest. It is regrettable that longer term solutions to the problem – cattle and badger vaccination, cattle movement controls and biosecurity – do not have wider and more active support from Government.
Mike concluded: “Expert scientists, who have studied the impacts of a badger cull in England on bovine TB for many years, have repeatedly stressed it will make no meaningful contribution to the management of the disease. The evidence demonstrates that culling runs the great risk of further spreading the disease from disrupted social groups of badgers.”