Earlier this month the Government was forced to announce that it would not be extending its inhumane and ineffective policy of culling badgers, after many months of pressure from Labour. Labour’s MP were joined by an unusual visitor as they celebrated this victory for campaigners across the country.
Labour has led the battle in Parliament against the Government’s plans to roll out the culls across the entire country. The culls were intended to prevent the spread of Tuberculosis in cattle but have failed to hit their targets, even after being extended by six weeks and going over budget. The Government’s own independent report concluded earlier this month that the culls had been ineffective an inhumane. Last month MPs voted by 219 – 1 in favour of a motion calling on the Government to abandon the culls, but it took weeks before the Government finally caved to overwhelming pressure and ruled out any more culls.
Labour supports an alternative approach to controlling Bovine TB, which involved cattle control measures and badger vaccination. In Wales this method has helped to bring about a 50% reduction of TB in cattle since 2009.
“It has taken far too long, but at last the Government has done the right thing and decided not to roll out this cruel and ineffective scheme. Culling has been bad for wildlife, bad for farmers and bad for the taxpayer, and I want to congratulate campaigners and my fellow Labour MPs for forcing the Government to admit that it got this issue badly wrong.
“The last Labour government followed an evidence-based approach to tackling TB, and the evidence has shown that culling is not the right solution. I hope that the Government will now listen to Labour’s call for an alternative approach that is supported by experts.”
As well as voting to abandon the culls, Emma questioned the Environment Secretary about the Government’s controversial decision to extend the culls when he appeared before the Environment Committee in May.