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August 27, 2013

Dr Jane Goodall Calls for Badger Cull to Be Abandoned

Humane Society International/UK

  • Thousands of badgers will die during the pilot cull. Stuart Matthews

As the government's cull of badgers is slated to begin in Somerset and Gloucestershire, UN Messenger of Peace Dr Jane Goodall has made an 11th hour video plea to abandon the badger cull for the sake of compassion and common sense.

Dr Goodall recorded the message for HSI/UK whilst on conservation work in Alaska, in a show of solidarity with our efforts and those our partner organisations within the Team Badger coalition.

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In her message, Dr Goodall states that she is “saddened that the British government has chosen to ignore the evidence of veterinarians and other qualified scientists” in proposing the mass culling of badgers, and that “the proposed killing will result in massive suffering”, with many badgers knowing “terror and great pain”. She urges the government to reconsider its plan in favour of a “more compassionate, but also far more rational” alternative.

The "free shooting" of badgers has been robustly condemned by eminent scientists, veterinarians, conservationists, wildlife and disease experts, as well as many farmers. They, like Team Badger, agree that killing badgers is highly ineffective as a means of controlling bovine TB. There are also considerable welfare concerns as well as concerns about perturbation—where TB infected badgers flee the shooting and spread the disease to previously uninfected areas.

Dr Goodall’s message closely follows a strong statement from the Zoological Society of London against the use of badger culling in the control of bovine tuberculosis in cattle.

Find out more about our campaign to protect badgers.

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