Target: Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson
Goal: Applaud the halt of badger culling in England and ensure that the cull does not happen again
A badger cull in Gloucestershire, England, has ended three weeks sooner than expected. Originally designed to kill 70 percent of badgers in the area, the cull was an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly tuberculosis disease (TB) to domestic cows. Cullings are ineffective at containing disease – it was an inappropriate answer to tuberculosis, and has thankfully been put to an end.
A recent ForceChange petition, urging the United Kingdom Prime Minister to put a stop to the badger culling, highlighted the largest problem with the cull: most badgers are free of TB. Therefore, opting for a mass kill of the species was an ill attempt at fixing a problem larger than badgers. Long-term sustainable measures should be taken, rather than mass killing. Fortunately, only about 30 percent of badgers were killed, instead of the projected 70 percent; however, this is still a hefty percentile.
This particular battle for badgers was won; however, the war may not be over to save England’s beloved wild animal. UK Environmental Secretary Owen Paterson would prefer to extend the cull to other areas of the United Kingdom if studies ensure the cull was humane and effective.
Commend the halt on the recent cull of badgers and urge the Environmental Secretary to look to sustainable and long-term solutions to the areas that TB is a problem. The slaughter of innocent badgers is not the answer; long-term vaccination plans are a much more humane and reasonable solution.
Dear Owen Paterson, Environmental Secretary,
The recent cull of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset has been brought to a halt three weeks prior to the scheduled finish. This is due to the percentage of badgers killed, versus the desired percentage. While the targeted goal was 70 percent of the local badger population, less than half of the target was accomplished. The killings were not successful and should not be scheduled to happen again elsewhere.
I am asking you to abandon plans to attempt a badger cull in other parts of the country. Badgers are not the main culprit in the bovine TB epidemic. Badgers are generally healthy creatures, and the vast majority of them do not carry the TB virus. Please consider more sustainable and long-term solutions to the bovine TB epidemic, such as long-term vaccination plans, or even advocate for a decrease in the keeping, slaughter and consumption of cows for the time being.
The solution is not to attempt to wipe out the majority of a local species. This will have a negative impact on the surrounding natural ecosystem; an impact that will not be determined until it becomes a problem. Killing badgers to control TB is not a viable solution and it distracts from the major issues. Please put an end to the unnecessary murder of badgers for good.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Killianwoods via Wikemedia