Alex Easton MLA is to hand over a petition of 3600 names in opposition to DEARA proposals to cull Badgers to the Speaker of the NI Assembly on Monday. He has stated he will oppose and vote against any proposals to cull Badgers being proposed by the consultation document by DAERA.

Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:

I suppose this was going to happen sooner rather than later as an Independent Unionist MLA I would make my own decisions and go against former colleagues. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and is seriously flawed. This would mean the indiscriminate killing of Badgers whether they have TB or not. I will outline my reasons to oppose this proposed cull to tackle TB being proposed by DAERA.

  1. 80% of Badgers do not have TB. So why kill them all.
  2. Other animals carry TB such as deer and foxes so it’s unfair to blame it all on Badgers.
  3. There are only 43,000 Badgers across Northern Ireland to cull them would endanger the species
  4. Culls in England have proven not to be successful and in one case did not even reduce TB incidents in cattle.
  5. There is a vaccine that protects healthy Badgers from getting TB which is successful and now being used across England and Wales’s instead of culling, so why not trap Badgers and test them for TB and vaccinate the healthy ones.
  6. Cullying has proven not to work and England and Wales’s are turning to the vaccinations.
  7. Farmers should still continue to be compensated at the market value as they currently do that should not change.

I am totally and utterly opposed to the mass culling of all Badgers. Let’s tackle TB but protect our Badger population and protect the farmers, but in a way which doesn’t need to cull every Badger indiscriminately in the way proposed by DAERA consultation, let’s trap and vaccinate as the way to go.