Open letter to the prime minister regarding badger cull licences

05 Sep 2020

McGill, I., Jones, M., Goodall, J., Munro, R., Simmons, A., Packham, C., MacMillan, A., Knight, A., Dyer, D., Cheeseman, C., Grogan, A., Menache, A., Saunders, R., Redmond, I., Bass, C., Allen, E., Lucas, C., Egan, P., Avery, M., Wilson, E., Travers, W., McKenna, V., Sawyer, J.

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We write to you today concerning your upcoming decision of whether or not to issue new licences for the killing of badgers in 2020.

We note that your government responded to the Godfray review in March 2020 by stating that it would ‘phase out’ intensive culling of badgers and instead move to badger vaccination.

However, in spite of these promises, on 15th May 2020 the government published supplementary badger control licences for all seven cull zones which had completed four years of culling under their original licences in 2019 (areas 4–10 inclusive). Indications suggest that your government intends to initiate a huge expansion of killing by issuing as many as 11 new licences this Autumn. For 2020 this would bring the total number of cull zones to 54, covering an area of approximately 28,000 km2, with in excess of 65,000 badgers being targeted.

There are a number of factors...