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Councillor backs cull plan

Worcester Editorial 18th Sep, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

AN OUTSPOKEN councillor has added his voice to calls to prevent “ineffective” and “inhumane” badger culling in Worcestershire.

Culls in neighbouring Gloucestershire restarted last Monday, September 8, and Labour councillor Richard Udall has lobbied Coun Adrian Hardman in a bid to stop them reaching the county.

Coun Udall, also Worcester City Councillor for St John’s, said many city residents now feared Worcestershire might be next on the agenda or farms that straggle the border between themselves and Gloucestershire could be part of the cull.

“Worcestershire County Council is one of the largest land owners in the county,” he said. “We own many farms, smallholdings and a number of countryside parks.

“We have it within our power to ban any potential future badger cull on county council owned land, which would make any cull in Worcestershire pointless.

“I am offering full opposition support to the controlling Conservative group, if they agree with us and are prepared to introduce such a ban, we will support them.”

Badger culling involves killing the animals on a large scale in a bid to prevent bTB – Bovine Tuberculosis – spreading to cattle.

In May campaigners presented a 1,400-strong petition to the County Council calling for the activity to be banned in Worcester when the Government rolls out the programme to other parts of Worcestershire next year.

Pauline Burgess who handed in the petition to County Hall previously said she wanted the council to show their support.

“At least those badgers will be safe and it will send a message to the Government that the British public doesn’t want badgers culled,” she said.

“They’re an iconic British mammal and the public want to keep them.”

Coun Udall added: “Labour has consistently said to get Bovine TB under control we need to bring in stricter cattle measures and prioritise badger and cattle vaccinations.

“Nationally the Tories have failed to explain why they’re pressing ahead with culls which have been shown to be ineffective, inhumane and risk making the problem worse.

“The badger culls have already been described as an “epic failure” by the chief scientific adviser to Natural England. To ass insult to injury these culls are proceeding without any independent scientific oversight.”

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