6 March 2018

Urge Natural England not to licence the slaughter of badgers in your back yard

Over the past 5 years, 35,000 or more badgers have been needlessly shot under licence across the west and south west of England, as part of the government’s strategy for reducing bovine TB in cattle.

The vast majority of these poor animals will have been perfectly healthy, and there is precious little evidence that the tiny proportion that that may have been infected with bovine TB posed any real risk to cattle. Yet far from abandoning this unscientific, inhumane, ineffective and unnecessary policy, Natural England is currently considering new licence applications for zones in the counties of Avon, Berkshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

If these licenses are granted and existing licenses renewed, tens of thousands more badgers will be needlessly killed during 2018, and there is a serious risk that badgers could disappear altogether across large parts of England where they have lived since the last ice age.

If you live in these counties, please make your voice heard. You may want to highlight the local disruption that badger culling might cause, including:

  • Limitations to public access in the cull zone through the period of culling (nominally 6 weeks although this may be extended);
  • The presence of people with firearms at night in local areas and the dangers this might pose;
  • The noise of firearms being discharged at night and other associated activities that culling entails;
  • The inconvenience of a potentially heavy police presence in the area;
  • Conflicts that may arise within local communities over the rights and wrongs of the culls;
  • The potential impacts of badger culling on other wildlife through the disruption of local ecosystems, which could result, for example, in increased numbers of foxes with consequences for ground nesting birds and other protected wild animals;
  • The potential negative impact that publicity about the culls might have on local businesses, for example through reduced tourism to the area; and
  • The public costs of the culls, including policing costs. It has been estimated that, to date, the total public cost of culling has exceeded £50 million.

How to respond

Details of the consultation can be found at:

Local residents in the counties concerned can respond through an online form at:

The deadline for responses is 19th March 2018.

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