Campaign to remove MP Owen Paterson from Environment Secretary role
Animal rights campaigners have launched a petition on the 10 Downing Street website calling for north Shropshire MP Owen Paterson to be removed from his role as Environment Secretary.
Campaigner Chris Kemp has launched the e-petition in protest to Mr Paterson's commitment to roll-out badger culling across Britain in a bid to eradicate bovine TB.
Trial culls allowing farmers to shoot thousands of badgers in two areas of the country got under way on June 1.
Mr Paterson hopes to create 40 more cull zones in the next four years.
The petition currently has fewer than 600 signatories.
It would need 100,000 signatures to spark a debate in the House of Commons.
Today Mr Paterson said he was unmoved by the petition.
He said: "I'm not in the least worried. We had our policy on badger culling enforced by a resounding majority in the House of Commons last week.
"I want to see healthy badgers living alongside healthy cattle."
On Wednesday, a Labour motion calling for the cull to be abandoned was defeated by 49 votes.
Government whips ensured a victory for ministers after a previous vote, prompted by a public petition, had seen MPs vote against the cull.
Mr Paterson told MPs at the time: "If we do not take tough and sometimes unpopular decisions, we will be putting at risk the success story of the UK cattle industry."
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