Why the UK Government’s badger cull infringes the Bern Convention
As part of its efforts to control bovine tuberculosis in domestic cattle, the UK Government has been issuing licences for the culling of badgers for the last seven years. However, the badger is a protected species, as listed on the Bern Convention.
The Born Free Foundation, the Badger Trust and Eurogroup for Animals submitted a complaint to the Bern Convention against the ongoing UK culling policy which remained unanswered for quite some time. The UK Government’s response was very weak and failed to address most of the evidence provided in support of the complaint, which yesterday was backed by the Labor Party.
The Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard wrote to the Bureau of the Bern Convention claiming the Government was “in breach of its international obligation to protect vulnerable wildlife” and adding “there is no scientific or ethical justification for continuing with the cruel and unnecessary badger cull”.
If Britain is found to have failed to adequately monitor the impact of large scale badger killing on the overall badger population level in England, EU Member States might not hesitate in calling for action to be taken against Britain under the terms of the Bern Convention.
Commented Dominic Dyer, CEO, Badger Trust.
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