Wildlife lovers shocked after badger cull extended into Nottinghamshire 'by back door'
In September, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust outlined its horror at the prospect that up to 70,000 badgers may be killed this autumn as a result of the government’s decision to expand the badger cull into a number of areas for the first time.
Now, charity members have spoken of their frustration at the lack of transparency surrounding the cull and shock at finding out that parts of Nottinghamshire are included in a licence announced as Area 48 – Leicestershire.
Janice Bradley, who has led Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s badger vaccination programme for the last four years, said: “News that 35 per cent of the badger population were to be shot and that land adjacent to our vaccination area could be affected without proper consultation was bad enough, but confirmation that badgers we have vaccinated are almost certain to be killed and the disclosure that areas of Nottinghamshire have been included under the ‘Leicestershire’ licence have been difficult to take.”
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust spent months calling for the details of a local cull licence application and evidence supporting any expansion of the cull to be made public.
Janice said: “Despite being part-funded by DEFRA as a partner delivering the government’s agreed bovine tuberculosis (bTB) strategy, we have had to fight to be heard at every turn.
"We have yet to be provided with any epidemiological evidence of bTB in badgers to justify the expansion of the cull into our vaccination area and we now sadly have to come to terms with the reality that badgers we have vaccinated to help reduce the spread of bTB will now be trapped and shot.
"The evidence that is available from tests of road kill badgers is that bTB is vanishingly rare in badgers in our vaccination area, and the government’s own data shows that there have been no bTB outbreaks in cattle herds in our Nottinghamshire vaccination area for the last three years.
“To find out that parts of Nottinghamshire have been included in the cull without full disclosure is truly shocking.”