THE Government’s statement that badger culling will be introduced (The Argus, July 29) flies in the face of the independent Krebs Review findings on randomised badger culling trials that have provided the most extensive scientific evidence to date into the impacts of culling badgers.

It concluded that no practicable method of culling can reduce the incidence of bovine TB to any meaningful extent and could even make the problem worse.

Bovine TB is a terrible disease, endemic to cattle in the UK, which has devastating impacts on farming communities, especially in the South West and the West Midlands.

However, there has to be a science-led approach to finding a long-term solution for dealing with bovine TB that establishes the most effective way to protect cattle and reduce transmission of the disease.

This Tory-led Government short-sightedly scrapped the vaccine pilots organised by the previous Labour Government and are instead proposing a “big society” free-shooting policy whereby farmers and land-owners would cull badgers at their own expense.

This approach has never been trialled and could have unforeseen consequences both for badgers and humans.

Neither, it would seem, has the Government given consideration to the public order issues associated with their proposals.

We will undoubtedly see large protests against them.

The Government has rushed into this decision instead of working on what is really needed; a long-term solution with the development of an effective vaccine.

At the same time, we should improve cattle management to prevent herds, as far as possible, from coming into contact with badgers and passing on the disease.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, Brighton and Hove City Council