NFU refutes badger cull rumour

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has quashed rumours about the possibility of Gloucestershire pulling out of the badger cull, which is set to go ahead this summer.

In response to the rumours, NFU director of corporate affairs Tom Hind said they were a "total fabrication and frankly laughable". He explained that both pilot areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset were recently given the go-ahead by Natural England to commence the licensed control operations this summer.

Hind said: "There is absolute commitment from government, the NFU and farmers on the ground to deliver a science-led, humane, safe and targeted cull of badgers in those areas."

However, a statement published on the RSPCA website at the end of last month highlighted the animal charity’s reaction to the reported rumours as "welcome", and chief executive Gavin Grant explained that the RSPCA was interested to hear of such rumours. He said: "We are very intrigued to hear rumours that Gloucestershire have dropped out of this senseless slaughter. If true, the message could not be more loud or clear." As a result the RSPCA and its colleagues at Team Badger called on Westminster to hear the message and halt its "misjudged plans".

Meanwhile, Hind concluded: "It is completely wrong to suggest that Gloucestershire is not part of this programme and it is surprising that the RSPCA has commented on unconfirmed and unsubstantiated rumours."

Defra also confirmed to that there were no plans to call off the cull in this area. A spokesperson said: "We have made no announcement about that, but we have had quite a few calls on it. As far as we’re concerned, the culls are going ahead as planned."


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