A west Cornwall MP has called for the government’s badger cull policy to be scrapped immediately.
Andrew George, MP for St Ives, told the House of Commons the cull has been ineffective and could make the spread of TB worse.
He said: “We will now have to wait a couple of weeks for the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to determine whether they believe that the two pilots were ‘effective, safe and humane’. I don’t know what they will say about the safety and the humaneness about the pilots, but if they conclude that they were ‘effective’ then it will call into question the wisdom of the expert panel itself.
“I warned the government at the time that their policy was not based on sound science and ran the very high risk of making the situation significantly worse. Farmers need a robust policy to get on top of a disease which has a devastating impact on livestock, and the lives and livelihoods of farmers and their families. The partial cull of the badger population in any area can only disrupt the stability of the badger social groups to the point where TB transmission is increased and the risk to livestock is heightened.”
Mr George has teamed up with Professor Rosie Woodroffe of the Zoological Society of London to create the first and largest community-led badger vaccination project in the UK.
He urged the government to get behind community projects, such as the vaccination he is trying to roll out in the Penwith area, to help stop the spread of TB.