Natural England has licenced contractors to shoot badgers in the field. In Gloucestershire and Somerset, the contractors have entirely failed to carry out the kind of cull that could be expected to slightly reduce bovine TB, and there is a significant chance that their efforts have caused infections in farmers' herds, not prevented them. There is no reason to believe that their performance will improve this year, nor that the contractor in Dorset, who has just been issued with a licence, will fare any better. This means that the annual cull planned to begin in a matter of days cannot in any rational sense be said to be serving the purpose of preventing the spread of disease. It is, therefore, unlawful.
Natural England has thus far done the Government's bidding when it comes to issuing licences. The letter from the Save Me Trust sets out the reasons why the cull as it has been licenced, cannot with any confidence be said to prevent disease. It also sets out ways in which Natural England has failed in its duty to consult the public before issuing licences.
The Save Me Trust calls on Natural England to do its duty under the legislation and revoke these unlawful licences to kill. This will stop a cull that has so far killed thousands of badgers for no good reason. If Natural England does not revoke the licences, then the Save Me Trust will take legal action to require Natural England to act within the law.
CEO Save Me Trust