Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed a Parliamentary Motion to call on the Government to allow a vote in the Commons to decide on the impending badger cull.
Mike has signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 299 (Pilot Badger Cull Parliamentary Assessment and Vote), which draws attention to concerns about the current pilot badger cull and notes that there is mixed evidence from similar schemes abroad. The results of the pilot will be assessed and a decision will be taken on whether or not the cull will be implemented across the country. The decision is expected to be made in early 2014 so it is therefore crucial that a vote is held shortly.
Around 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Badgers are being shot by marksmen in the South West as part of measures to protect cattle from bovine tuberculosis. Defra scientists estimate that culling badgers could reduce the number of new cases of TB in herds by 12% to 16% over nine year. Mike is not convinced that the culls will be effective.
Commenting Mike said, “This badger cull is entirely unnecessary. I am calling on the Government to give Members of Parliament the opportunity to voice their concerns by way of a vote on the matter. Due to the mixed evidence from badger cull studies abroad, it is vital that we assess the evidence of our own pilot to make sure any action taken is actually effective in stopping the spread of TB to cows. Another vote should be taken on the basis of new evidence.”