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MP calls for wild animals to be culled, not just badgers

Richard Drax has dismissed calls by conservation groups to end the badger cull, which aims to curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). 

Speaking at a debate on farming in the House of Commons, the Conservative MP for South Dorset instead suggested more animals — such as deer and foxes — should be culled because, like badgers, they have no natural predators in the UK. 

The badger cull started in Gloucestershire in 2013, followed by Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Dorset, sparking furious protests. The Badger Trust says since the start of the cull, more than 210,000 badgers have been legally killed. 

Mr Drax said bTB was a “major problem” in the south-west, telling the Commons: “Culling has been proven to work.” He added: “This is just pure common sense.”

Cattle spread the respiratory infection to each other, but they can also catch it from badgers. Figures showed the number of cattle with bTB going for slaughter in England in 2022-23 was 20,228 , which is a 24% fall on the previous year and the lowest number since 2008. 

The Government has said it hopes to eradicate bTB in England by 2038.