Molly has responded angrily to news that the culling of badgers will be extended to four new areas of the South West: South Devon, North Devon, North Cornwall and West Dorset. Culling will be extended for a fourth year in Somerset and Gloucestershire, and a second year in North Dorset. Molly said:
“We heard from Brexiteers like Andrea Leadsom of their contempt for expert advice during the referendum campaign. Now she is extending this contempt to domestic policy, by extending a failed and inhumane policy which will do nothing to address the dire situation facing farmers affected by bovine TB. Independent scientific evidence, commissioned by the government, has revealed the cull to be nothing more than mass cruelty supported by bad science.
“In an area like the South West, where farmers are so deeply affected by this disease, we need effective and scientifically grounded policy, not political performance. Ms Leadsom should re-focus her efforts on humane and evidence-based controls, on extending programmes of badger vaccination, and on investment into developing a cattle vaccine that is the real long-term solution. While TB infections are continuing to rise in the existing cull areas, in Wales, which uses scientifically supported techniques including rigorous TB testing, tighter controls on cattle movement, and strict biosecurity measures instead of inhumane culling, there has been a 14% reduction.”