I oppose the large-scale, indiscriminate culling of badgers as I do not believe it is an effective way of controlling bovine tuberculosis. Indeed, at the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto that pledged to cease the badger cull.

I am therefore disappointed that the Government has announced it will extend the badger cull to 10 new ‘high-risk’ areas and an additional ‘low-risk’ area in Cumbria.

The Government’s decision to kill up to 42,000 badgers, including in low risk areas and regardless of whether the badgers are carrying TB or not, is unjustifiable.

The expansion has been widely condemned by animal welfare organisations, such as the Badger Trust who called it the largest destruction of a protected species in living memory.

The Government must immediately cease this mass destruction of wildlife and focus attention and tax payers’ money on improving testing, vaccinations and controlling the movement of infected cattle.

I can assure you that I will continue to press the Government to end this unscientific and inhumane badger cull.

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