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Brighton and Hove City Council pledge to oppose badger cull
Politicians have pledged to oppose the “slaughtering” of badgers in a widespread cull.
As it looks to halt the spread of Bovine TB, the government has backed the shooting of the animals in two areas of the south west.
Ministers said they aim to roll out the pilot across England in the next four years to control the disease of cattle that has been steadily rising since the 1980s.
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But, claiming shooting badgers will have little or no effect on controlling the disease, members on Brighton and Hove City Council have unanimously voted to oppose the move.
It added it will look to work with farmers on local authority-owned land to come up with alternative methods to culling.
Green councillor Liz Wakefield, who proposed the motion and wore a Save Our Badgers t-shirt in the council chamber, said: “The government said it had no way of assessing whether the cull methods used were humane.
“And it is not even carrying out post-mortems on badgers so we do not know the percentage of badgers that are infected.
“Is this a positive use of our scarce money? No.
“Would we rather it was used for something more positive than the slaughtering of our iconic badgers?
Conservative and Labour councillors backed the move which urged the government to follow the Welsh Assembly’s lead and vaccinate badgers.
It means Penny Thompson, the council’s chief executive, will write a letter to minsters outlining its opposition.
Conservative councillor Garry Pelzer Dunn said: “The badger has been put on trial and found guilty, notwithstanding that the evidence was totally at odds with each other.”
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “There is a growing public consensus that culling is wrong.
“Bovine TB is a terrible disease but culling is not the way to prevent it.”
Green councillor Ben Duncan said: “This is all about preserving farmer’s access to international trade markets for dairy products.
“This is why successive governments have taken the attitude that animals in this country are completely indispensible when it comes to trade interests.”
Labour councillor Bob Carden, who is a keen badger spotter, said: “I’m firmly convinced that what the government is doing now is going to lead to the spread of Bovine TB.
“If you look around now you will find the body of a badger lying around. But recently they are just not there as the numbers are falling.
“It’s good that we try and stop this cull now and let the badgers get on with their lives.”
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