Does culling badgers stop TB? Government extends kill zones

Thousands of badgers are slated to be killed in seven new areas this year to help stop bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle.

The new zones are in the counties of Hampshire, Berkshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and two parts of Shropshire.

Natural England, a no-portfolio public body sponsored by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said. The latter recently made headlines for the killing of the famous alpaca Geronimo.

Between 5,365 and 7,273 badgers are said to be slaughtered, as it turned out, over 140,000 have been killed since 2013.

The Badger Trust has condemned “the greatest destruction of a protected species in living memory,” stressing that the death rate in local areas could lead to extinction.

More than 70% of badgers killed in 2019 were shot. A shipping method that the British Veterinary Association describes as “inhuman” that can cause animals to lose blood for up to five minutes.

The Badger Trust says only 0.6% of the animals were humanely killed.

Does badger cull stop tuberculosis?

Only last year did the UK government admit that culling was not a long-term solution after one independent review found that it wasn’t the most effective way to fight TB.

In fact, the report claimed that the cattle trade and poor biosecurity on farms were the main causes of the spread of TB.

Last year the government announced that it would turn away from the cull and develop a vaccination program.

Although vaccination plans are being pushed forward with trials in Hertfordshire, culling related to it is resuming.

Badgers were identified as the vector of the disease in 1917 and since then there have been numerous contradicting studies showing the usefulness and futility of culling.

Animal rights activists claim the cull is state sponsored extinction, while the government firmly believes that TB reduces the positive effects.

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