Today at noon, Conservative Secretary of State Owen Paterson provided his shocking response to the results of the 2013 Badger Pilot Culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset: The pilot culls will continue.
The response, and release of the IEP Review follow considerable delay since the leaking to the BBC of the report in late February, and an early March back-bench parliamentary discussion in which a 219 to 1 majority voted that the pilot culls should be ended.
The Independent Panel Review of the 2013 pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire can be downloaded and read here.
DEFRA’s response to the IEP report can be downloaded and read here.
Owen Paterson’s statements and responses to questions from all parties stated that the culls would be renewed this year in Gloucestershire and Somerset, following ‘improvements recommended in the IEP report’. He is keen to ‘perfect the culling methods used’ before rolling the cull out to further areas. He also encouraged farmers in Dorset to ready themselves in preperation for the culling method to be perfected.
Paterson stated that vaccination programs would be implemented to create ‘buffer zones’ around TB hot spots, though did not make clear where the hotspots are, how large the buffer zones will be, or indeed how the vaccination projects will be funded and managed.
Requests from MPs to Paterson for a full cabinet discussion of the cull were ignored.
Network For Animals will now be reviewing the IEP report as we encourage you to, before considering further response.