Stars sign up to save England’s badgers
Press Release – 14th August 2013
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Sir Roger Moore, Dame Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed, Martin Shaw, Anthony Head and Virginia McKenna OBE are among over one hundred celebrities, scientists, naturalists, veterinarians and leading animal welfare and conservation groups to have signed a statement calling on the Government to stop the badger cull. In a plea for compassion, the signatories ask the Government for its policy of killing to be abandoned and replaced with more scientifically credible, humane and effective solutions to tackling bovine TB (bTB). The joint statement reads:
“We the undersigned ask the government to stop the badger cull and to implement instead the more sustainable and humane solution of vaccination, improved testing and better bio-security.”
Two pilot culls intended to test the safety, efficacy and humaneness of killing badgers by free shooting or cage trapping and shooting are planned to begin any day now for a period of six weeks in undisclosed areas of West Somerset and West Gloucestershire. If deemed successful, these plans could then be rolled out further, throughout the West Country to Derbyshire and the Midlands, in the mistaken belief that killing badgers will have a significant impact on the spread of bTB. Up to ten licences will be issued each year for four years, possibly resulting in the killing of as many as 130,000 badgers according to Natural England.
The signatories stand in solidarity with 263,000 members of the British public who have so far signed the Stop the Cull petition launched by astrophysicist and rock guitarist Dr Brian May. It is the most successful ever H.M. Government e-petition. Brian May founded Team Badger whose member groups including Save Me, Care For The Wild International, the League Against Cruel Sports, IFAW, Humane Society International/UK, Blue Badger and the RSPCA, have been joined by a host of other organisations adding their support to the joint statement, such as the RSPB, Woodland Trust, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Their joint outreach is to approximately four million members of the public, who subscribe to these organisations in order to protect wildlife and conserve the countryside for future generations. (A full list of signatories is here).