Tory MPs pressing Owen Paterson over badger cull

Tory backbenchers have demanded that independent evidence be published into Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s controversial badger cull.

Owen Paterson - stock
Owen Paterson

At least 11 Conservative MPs have written to the North Shropshire MP to ask for the information which will determine whether pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire are successful.

Earlier this week Mr Paterson, who introduced the cull in a bid to eradicate Bovine TB in cattle, admitted the Gloucestershire cull had killed less than half of the animals it set out to. He has applied to extend the six-week trial that has just finished in Gloucestershire by eight weeks, after it killed just 708 badgers, or 30 per cent of the local population. To be successful 70 per cent of the local population needs to be eliminated, or 1,650 badgers, meaning the trial succeeded in killing 43 per cent of the animals it intended to.

The letter to Mr Paterson, which was drafted by Anne Main MP for St Albans, said: “As you know there remains considerable anxiety within the party about the current pilot badger culls in England.

“There is a need to keep Parliament informed of the results once the trial period has finished and before any decision is made on future culls.

“Now that the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire are nearing the end of their allocated time frame, we remain concerned that the government will not release any further information on how the humaneness of the cull is being assessed or what threshold will be used to assess if the cull has reached its humaneness target.

“Whilst we appreciate that the Government will release data on the cull, this will only be after you have reached a decision on whether the pilots have met their targets and can be rolled out to wider areas.

“We therefore urge you to commit to publishing the independently assessed evidence from the pilot culls, as well as taking advice from a range of experts on humaneness, after culling in the pilot areas has finished and before any decision has been made.

Mr Paterson was unavailable for comment.

Comments for: "Tory MPs pressing Owen Paterson over badger cull"

Fran Carpenter

How come, Mr Paterson, it was "too late" for a badger cull to take place this time last year, but this year it's perfectly fine to continue culling into December. Hypocrisy, Mr Paterson, hypocrisy, with a mixed topping of incompetence, disorganisation and cruelty. That's from one of your Conservative members...

dianebartlett99

We have asked Owen Paterson for a one to one debate with himself and Dominic Dyer....care for the wild but Owen Paterson has declined because he know his arguments for this cull don't stand up and is a total waste of taxpayers money. Over £2200 fir each Badger shot to date, this would pay for a hospital bed for a week. Vaccination of a badger costs £600 Please tell me where is the sense in this total waste on TAXPAYERS money? I would appeal to the Shropshire Star to ask Owen Paterson why he won't give us a one to one debate with Owen Paterson and himself? Bet he won't do it!

Carus

Mr Owen Paterson's Achievements

1. Indiscriminate killing of badgers regardless of them being ill or healthy.

2. Failed to meet the required targets to prevent making TB worse.

3. Adjusted the figures by suggesting it’s not his fault, it is the badgers fault, “The Badgers have moved the goalposts”.

4. Adjusted the figures but still didn't meet the required targets.

5. Ignored all scientific advice unless it was from those paid for by the government.

6. Ignored the most signed government’s e-petition to date and the 304,128 people that signed it.

7. Managed to achieve one of the most expensive culls ever in the history of the UK at a cost of over £2200 per badger.

8. Made me choose to vote at the next general election for the first time ever in 40 years of my life. This will be for a party that has nothing to do with Mr Owen Paterson who has amazed me with his incompetence, cruelty and denial of complete failure.

Clued-Up

"Mr Paterson was unavailable for comment" ... says it all really.

This man has squandered £millions of our money on a cruel, pointless killing spree. He needs to go.