The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Labour promises to end the badger cull in England

The shadow farming minister confirmed plans to end the badger cull.

Daniel Zeichner, the shadow farming minister, confirmed that Labour aims to make England free of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) by 2038. He said his party would end the badger cull and fight the disease using vaccines and biosecurity measures.

Defra secretary Thérèse Coffey recently said the Conservatives would “keep culling… as it is the best way”. England is the only area of Great Britain that culls badgers, with Scotland officially bTB-free. In the summer, the Government enlarged the badger cull by issuing extra cull licences to 29 zones in England.

A West Country farmer who has been involved in the badger cull and heavily affected by bTB told ST:
“This is a hugely complicated issue and it’s easy to see this as a purely political move by Labour. Their recent announcement has caused dismay among cattle farmers who have seen the culling policy reduce TB outbreaks in their herds. It’s upsetting to find that one of the very effective strands to the policy is to be removed.”

“TB vaccination for cattle has been pre-announced many times, and it has always appeared to be
five years away. Badger vaccination has yet to be proven effective and the welfare aspects of trapping badgers every year to revaccinate them are not to be ignored.”