Cheshire badger cull set to be ramped up from today

A badger cull is set to be ramped up in Cheshire today (June 1).

The news comes after the Government recently announced that a national badger vaccination programme would be rolled out on the back of a five-year pilot in East Sussex as the cull is phased out.

The cull, which is allowed in licensed areas including Cheshire, aims to stop the spread of tuberculosis to cattle but has proved controversial.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury has expressed his concern that the move isn’t happening fast enough, with another 10 supplementary licences issued for culling, including an area of Cheshire, effective from Tuesday (June 1) until January 31, 2023.

Mike Amesbury is now calling for the national badger vaccination programme to be accelerated in a bid to stop the cull being ramped up across the county.

Mr Amesbury said: “People feel very passionately about the need to protect a beautiful and protected species that is very much part of the British countryside.

“While I sympathise with farmers affected by TB in cattle, the evidence that badger culling prevents the spread of tuberculosis to their animals is not conclusive.

“Trials involving badger vaccinations have proved positive and far more cost-effective for the taxpayer, when you take into the account the cost of policing the cull.”

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Mr Amesbury added: “The badger vaccination programme need to be introduced in Cheshire and escalated right throughout England as quickly as possible. That’s where the investment should be.

“It’s estimated 140,000 badgers have already been killed across the country with fears another 130,000 animals could be shot before the cull is phased out. It’s a real concern for the future of the badger population.

“This is about animal welfare, being led by the evidence and costs to the taxpayer.”

The Government has said new four-year badger control licences won’t be issued after December 1, 2022, but this means the cull could continue until 2026. In some cases, existing licences may be cut short after two years.

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