The Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham has criticised a badger cull which could result in thousands of animals being killed.
The organisation is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts in the UK to object to the cull on the protected species, which started in parts of south west England on Saturday. The cull has been proposed by the Government as a way of controlling bovine TB – bTB – which can be transmitted from badgers to cattle, leading to the slaughter of infected herds.
But the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham says there are other ways of controlling the disease, including the use of electric fences to keep badgers and cattle apart.
Liz Ballard, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham, said: “We are strongly opposed to the culling of badgers. It is important to remember that bTB is the problem – not the badgers.
“While we sympathise with farmers who lose herds as a result of contracting bTB, we do not believe that culling badgers is the best solution for people and wildlife. Not least because scientific research of large-scale badger culling trials show an initial worsening of the disease as infected badgers move to new available territory.”