Stop badger culls Last year thousands of badgers were slaughtered in Somerset and Gloucestershire. DEFRA and the NFU claim that this was intended to halt the spread of bTB in cattle – but they were wrong.

Only 5% of bTB infection is from badger to cattle; over 49% is from cattle to cattle. And nearly 50% of the killing areas in Gloucestershire had no cattle – they were commercial shooting estates.

The policy is deeply flawed, utterly inhumane and flies in the face of the majority of reputable scientific opinion. DEFRA have not even bothered to test the badgers they have killed for bTB – so we don’t know that any of them were infected. And yet there is talk of rolling out culling to other areas during 2014 and beyond.

In the face of this insanity it is time to ask local councils to step up to protect our badgers. Councils have the power to ban culling on land they own and could easily contribute to the badger vaccination projects which, organised by County Wildlife Trusts and Badger Trust Groups, are now springing up across the country.

Operation Badger is a national campaign of petitions to local councils across England and Wales. It has over 120 such petitions in a network stretching from Cumbria to Kent and from Cornwall to Northumberland. You can find your nearest petition by going to: The Wiltshire petition can be accessed directly at the following link: Operation Badger can really make a difference and I hope readers will sign their local petition today and ask the council to ban culling just as several councils across England (Brighton, Sheffield, Oxford, Hampshire and more) have already done.

Don’t let our badgers be slaughtered in the name of bad science and shoddy politics!

Jon England (Name and address supplied)