Gloucestershire badger cull - both sides of the argument
WITH the badger cull in Gloucestershire set to start any time now, we look at both sides of the argument.
AS far as the Government is concerned, allowing trained marksmen to shoot badgers is a must if the battle against the spread of TB in cattle is to be won.
So the six-week pilot cull will test if the method of controlled shooting is safe, humane and effective at removing enough badgers to have a long-term impact on levels of Bovine TB. (bTB)
Ministers say the cull is not a scientific study but a test of the policy. They say they already have scientific evidence that culling in this way helps to reduce new incidence of bTB in the cull and surrounding areas.
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Opponents of the cull dispute that the scientific evidence is there to prove that killing badgers can reduce the level of bTB.
They believe that the answer is in cattle management and by speeding up research so vaccinations could be used to prevent the spread of the disease in badgers and cows.
Anti-cull protests are expected to take place in the pilot areas near Tewkesbury, with some campaigners saying they will patrol land to seek out badgers that have been injured and not killed.
Their view remains that badgers should not be made the scapegoat for society's inability to control the disease.
Attempts to develop an effective vaccination for badgers and cattle should be stepped up they say, though the Government insists this is not an option because that will not be ready for many years yet.