4 min read

Badgers Are Killed To Fix A Problem They Didn't Cause

<p> Peter Trimming / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/peter-trimming/7928637394" target="_blank">Flickr</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="_blank">CC BY 2.0</a>) </p>

Recently, there was international outrage when a famous lion called Cecil was killed by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe. What's this got to do with badger culling?

League Against Cruel Sports

League Against Cruel Sports

Unfortunately, killing predators such as badgers and lions is typical of the simplistic way humans deal with animals at the top of their food chain. We have a history of abusing, tormenting and killing animals like bears, lions, tigers, foxes and badgers.

Sometimes it's done for so-called sport, such as trophy hunting, and sometimes there is an attempt at justifying it, such as this cull, but it is fundamentally about getting rid of other predators.

Luckily, the world is starting to wake up and understand that we don't have to kill other predators, we can live alongside them. Schemes in other countries involving lions, dingoes, wolves and bears are showing that non-lethal ways of ensuring both people and animals stay safe and benefit from each other's presence are working.

Lions, badgers, what's the difference?

Britain's badger cull has entered its third year. Like the vast majority of animal welfare organizations and impartial scientists in this country, the League Against Cruel Sports is utterly opposed to this government policy. The arguments can be long and complicated, but simply put:

  • We believe that the vast majority, if not all, bovine TB (bTB) outbreaks are caused by cattle, not badgers.
  • Ongoing studies show significant drops in the rate of infection where measures are being taken to stop this cattle-to-cattle infection. This is particularly in Wales - where no badger culling is taking place.
  • Even if badgers contribute to some outbreaks, culling badgers can cause survivors to flee into new areas, potentially causing an increase in bTB.

Compassionate conservation is the only way forward in terms of understanding and tackling diseases like bTB, and is the only moral way forward unless we want to wipe out every other living creature on the planet, which unfortunately seems to be the only policy on some people's agenda.