Members of East Devon Green Party attended a candlelit vigil in Minehead town centre on Monday, August 26, where hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered before the start of the badger cull in Somerset. The controversial government policy will see 5,000 animals shot in the trial areas of Somerset and Gloucestershire, and may then extend to other parts of the West Country – as well as other areas of England. The final death toll could exceed 100,000.
Honiton Green Party Councillor Sharon Pavey condemned the cull as “a terrible decision”.
“The Green Party fully understands the distress that the problem of TB in cattle is causing to farmers,” she said. “But culling is not the answer: besides being inhumane, government experts have already shown it to make ‘no meaningful contribution’ to the reduction of TB in cattle. In fact it could actually make the problem worse.“
East Devon Green Party coordinator Emily McIvor said: “The government’s policy flies in the face of expert advice and public sympathy. It cannot possibly succeed in eradicating Bovine TB. We need instead to increase funding for vaccination of wildlife and cattle, and to overhaul biosecurity on farms and control measures for the movement of cattle”.
Last week, more than one hundred celebrities, scientists, naturalists, veterinarians and leading animal welfare and conservation groups signed a statement calling on the government to abandon the cull and replace it with more scientifically credible, humane and effective solutions to tackling bovine TB.
The signatories stand in solidarity with almost 300,000 members of the British public who have so far signed the Stop the Cull petition launched by astrophysicist and rock guitarist Dr Brian May – the most successful ever government e-petition ever.
You can sign the petition on http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257