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Speak Out For Badgers Before It's Too Late

Final signature count: 61,553

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Help stop a mass badger cull in the United Kingdom!

The UK government is moving forward with a badger cull to attempt to eradicate cases of bovine tuberculosis that have been affecting the badger population. Farmers are saying the badgers are infecting their cattle, and the government's response has been to simply shoot the badgers.

The government lacks sound scientific evidence to prove that killing the badgers would alleviate the tuberculosis problem. There is no reason to kill these badgers in this way, especially with vaccination trials underway.

Write to the UK's Prime Minister asking them to halt all plans to kill the innocent badgers and find better ways to control the tuberculosis outbreak.

With the summer months upon us, the British government is moving forward with another round of badger culls. By their own admission, the program will depend on shooters, who have no previous experience killing badgers, hunting free-running badgers during night-time shoots. The cull aims to kill at least 70% of the badgers inhabiting the trial areas; unfortunately, estimates of badger populations have proven to be notoriously unreliable, meaning that the cull risks the local extinction of these badger populations, an act that violates the terms of the license granted for the culls. Further, a previous trial cull actually increased incidents of bovine TB as badgers spread to neighboring areas to establish new social groups. In short, these culls are inhumane, potentially illegal, and scientifically unsound. Rather than killing the badgers, England should adopt a program of vaccination, similar to the trials underway in neighboring Wales. Sign below to save badgers before it's too late!

The Timeline:

  • September 03, 2013: A second pilot cull begins in Gloucestershire, while the UK Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, refuses either to reveal statistics for the first week of culls or to comment on the humaneness of the killings.
  • August 26, 2013: Despite public protests and a clear lack of scientific support, the badger culls commence in Somerset, as the British government has opted to ignore these impassioned pleas and forge ahead with its kill-first mentality rather than pursue non-lethal alternatives.
  • June 01, 2013: The window for the two six-week culls begins. Actual start dates are contingent on weather, vegetation (for cover), and police advice.
  • February 27, 2013: Badger culls are approved after licensing conditions are met for Gloucestershire and West Somerset.

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The Petition:

To the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

I am writing to address the plight of badgers in the UK. Because many of them have come down with tuberculosis, the government is moving forward with a mass badger cull. However, there is has been no research that can support the fact that killing them is the most logical idea.

Before you move ahead with the badger cull, I urge you to come up with a solution to the tuberculosis outbreak that doesn't involve any loss of life.

Please do not allow any innocent badgers to be killed for frivolous reasons that don't yet have any base in science.

Thank you for your consideration.

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A year-long study of badger behavior has revealed more complex social networks than previously understood. The new research, published in Current Biology, suggests that any management tactics that disrupt these networks -- much like the lethal culls underway in Great Britain -- are more likely to facilitate the spread of TB rather than prevent it. As the evidence for non-lethal interventions accumulates, the British government blindly continues the culls. Sign below to end the killing.