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Secret World support badger cull court appeal
SECRET World Wildlife Rescue is supporting a court appeal today (September 11) against the culling of badgers in Somerset.
The Badger Trust is taking its case to the Court of Appeal as Natural England prepares to issue licenses to allow farmers to shoot badgers at night in parts of the county to combat cattle TB.
But staff from Secret World, based in East Huntspill, have been working with the Somerset Trust Badger Group to vaccinate badgers on three farms within the cull area of West Somerset towards Exmoor.
Andy Parr, wildlife release manager at Secret World and member of the Somerset Trust Badger Group, has been part of the vaccination programme.
He told the Weekly News: “In July the Badger Trust lost a bid at the High Court to block the badger culling. We hope that today common sense will prevail.
“I believe we have gathered a lot of support against the cull and Secret World has put in a lot of effort to vaccinate badgers, which is a good method, along with increased bio security.
“We don’t want our efforts to be wasted.”
Badgers already vaccinated will be protected in buffer zones set up by Natural England but Mr Parr says more work needs to be done to secure a larger buffer zone, as a single badger can roam half a kilometre in an evening.
Pauline Kidner, Founder of Secret World, said: “Vaccinating is the long term solution for both cattle and badgers and it is time the government sees sense.”
Sir David Attenborough and Simon King, broadcaster and patron of Secret World, have voiced their support for vaccination in a keynote video production released by The Badger Trust on You Tube today.
Mr King, said: “It is in the interest of both farming and conservationists to eradicate Bovine TB in the British Isles. The way forward is undoubtedly vaccination for both cattle and wildlife. Culling is not an answer.”
David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust said the group has already won a judicial review in Wales, and today’s appeal in England is based on complex points of law.
He added: “We have stood against governments with legal challenges to culling policies and will continue to do so, even though the validity of the science cannot be tested in court.”