should prosecute those involved in badger culls, which started this
week in two areas of England, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey has
director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, said last week
that the "planned killings" of badgers were "utterly bereft of
scientific or ethical justification.
"In the history of animal
protection, we have witnessed many attempts to fool the public, but
none more concerted or ridiculous than the proposed killing of
thousands upon thousands of badgers. The RSPCA and other
animal-welfare organisations should bring test cases to demonstrate
the cruelty involved and the perfidity of the Government's
justifications. The only solution to bovine TB is the vaccination
of cows and/or badgers. Everything else is dross and detail."
He also called on the
Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, to resign, "to make way for
someone who understands the nation's concern for the proper
treatment of animals".
MPs were due to debate a
motion opposing the cull on Wednesday this week.
Licences to cull badgers
in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire came into force on 1
June. A licence allows badgers to be shot by trained marksmen, in
any continuous six-week period, up to 1 December.
An anti-cull rally, led
by the former Queen guitarist Brian May, was held in London last
weekend. It delivered a petition of nearly 250,000 signatures to
Downing Street calling for the cull to be scrapped.
The Government argues
that the cull is necessary as part of efforts to stop the
increasing outbreaks of TB in dairy and beef herds. The National
Farmers Union argues that vaccinating a single badger costs £662.
It is "laborious, impractical, and very expensive".
A spokesman for the RSPCA
welcomed Professor Linzey's intervention, but said that it would
not be able to prosecute because it has been licensed by the
"We agree with Professor
Andrew Lindzey that the imminent badger cull is 'utterly bereft of
scientific and ethical justification', and welcome his dismay at
these devastating plans to kill thousands of wild animals.
"The RSPCA cares equally
about badgers and cattle, but this cull simply will not work as a
solution to bovine TB. The only real answer will be vaccination for
both cattle and badgers, better biosecurity, and control of cattle