Proposals to cull badgers by shooting lambasted by SDLP

Proposals to cull badgers as part of a strategy to eradicate bovine TB has been lambasted by the SDLP.
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Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has called on Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots to reverse his proposals to introduce controlled shooting of free roaming badgers.

Mrs Kelly says the vast majority (80-85%) of badgers are free of bovine-TB. Badgers are protected by law in the UK.

The USPCA, Ulster Wildlife and NI Badger Group have launched a joint petition against the DAERA proposals.

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Mrs Kelly said: “This cruel proposal to kill thousands of healthy badgers is morally indefensible. Moreover, research has shown that indiscriminate culling makes little difference in addressing the real threat that bovine TB can pose to our farming communities.

“DAERA should instead follow the Test-Vaccinate-Remove approach which has been shown to be effective in addressing the spread of bovine-TB.

“When the SDLP held the Environment portfolio, we were proud to steadfastly defend wildlife including through the introduction of prison sentences and doubling fines for those who committed crimes against wildlife in Northern Ireland.

“Minister Poots should immediately reverse these proposal and act to protect our environment and defend our island’s biodiversity.”



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