Call for council to ban badger culling on its land

badger culling
More than 500 badgers were killed in Dorset last year

THE former leader of BCP Council is calling for it to ban badger culling on land owned by the authority.


Cllr Vikki Slade will put forward a motion proposing the move at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the council. She will say culling is “expensive, ineffective and inhumane”, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The cull was introduced by the government in England in 2013 in a bid to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB). Licences were first issued in Dorset in 2015 with more than 500 animals killed in the county last year.

Concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of culling and that the shooting of badgers is inhumane. It has been opposed by groups including the Wildlife Trusts, which forbids culling on its land, and Poole council introduced a similar ban in 2014.

But no such move was made by either Bournemouth or Christchurch councils, and Cllr Slade will call for a conurbation-wide policy when BCP Council meets tomorrow.

She will put forward the ban through a motion, backed by Green Party councillor Chris Rigby.

Cllr Slade will say: “While there is no doubt that bovine TB causes damage to farming – and it is imperative that a solution to this problem must be found – there is plenty of evidence that demonstrates culling is expensive, ineffective and inhumane.”

Her motion will add: “We stand with tenant farmers, landowners and farming businesses in calling for an effective long-term solution to this disease which is one of the UK’s greatest animal health threats but believe that alternatives must be brought forward to stop the repeated culling of badgers.”

On top of calling for a ban on culling on all council-owned land, it will encourage the council to work with bodies to encourage badger vaccinations.

It will also commit the council to improving measures to prevent transmission of bovine TB and that a letter be sent to the government urging it to “accelerate” research into alternatives to culling.