The badger cull in England is continuing in autumn 2016 and being rolled out to new areas, despite evidence published by the Independent Expert Panel after the first period of culling in 2013 (1) that these ‘pilot culls’ were both inhumane and ineffective.
Secret World Wildlife Rescue continues to be opposed to the culling of badgers as a method of controlling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. We understand the financial and emotional hardship experienced by farmers in trying to manage bTB on their farms; however we do not believe that culling of badgers will help and indeed may even make things worse (2). There is no scientific evidence to support the culling of badgers as a method of controlling bTB in cattle, and badgers suffer and die needlessly as a result of this flawed approach. It is our opinion that control of bTB should instead focus on cattle movement controls and biosecurity, vaccination of badgers and when possible vaccination of cattle (2).

Secret World supports the use of BCG vaccination in badgers (and when available in cattle) and we work with Somerset Badger Group to deliver a badger vaccination initiative. Vaccination has been shown to be both safe (3) and effective (4) and when used in wild badgers has been shown to reduce the number testing positive to diagnostic tests for bTB by around 75% (5, 6)

Secret World Wildlife Rescue is recognised nationally and internationally for our work with badgers. We care for adult animals and we rear orphaned badger cubs. We work hard to promote responsible and scientific rehabilitation practices regarding the testing of badgers for bTB as illustrated in our publications and presentations.

Find out more about the badger cull and related issues from the Badger Trust.

Find out how you can help from the Badger Action Network.

Find out more about bovine tuberculosis and our position.

1. Munro et al., 2014
2. Bourne et al., 2007
3. Lesellier et al., 2006

4. Lesellier et al., 2011
5. Chambers et al., 2011
6. Carter et al., 2012