CHESHIRE Wildlife Trust has urged the Government to listen to Parliament after MPs backed a motion to abandon its planned badger cull.
Last week it was announced that pilot culling schemes in Gloucestershire and Somerset would be delayed until 2013, following a request from the National Farmer’s Union, carrying out the cull.
MPs voted in favour of the motion, which called for the cull to be stopped and a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle taken on instead, along with improved testing and biosecurity.
The vote followed a five and a half hour parliamentary debate, which was triggered after more than 163,000 people signed an e-petition opposing the cull.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust were highlighted during the debate, along with a number of other county Wildlife Trusts already taking on self-funded badgers and bovine tuberculosis badger (bTB) vaccination programmes across the UK.
Richard Gardner, Living Landscape manager for Cheshire Wildlife Trust said: “Scientists oppose the cull, the public opposes the cull and now MPs have voted against a cull.
“It is time for the Government to listen and use the available alternatives to tackle bTB.
“Contrary to some of the statements in The House yesterday, a number of measures including improvements to cattle vaccines and testing procedures are closer than ministers would have us believe.”
He added: “Wildlife Trusts are already leading the way with tackling this disease in a dozen areas across the UK, with Cheshire Wildlife Trust - livestock owners and managers themselves - taking action on the northerly frontline of bTB in the North West.
“A badger vaccine is available now and improved biosecurity measures can help to reduce the spread of the disease.
“In the longer term a cattle vaccine can play a very real part in helping deal with the problem and the government should now be putting the effort into ensuring this vaccine can be deployed as soon as possible by affecting a change in current EU restrictions.”