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25th Jun, 2022

Conservators ban badger culling

Malvern Editorial 20th Mar, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

BADGER culling has been prohibited on the Malvern Hills by the town’s Conservators group.

Last week the board moved to ban the practice on the 3,000 acres they manage in the interest of public safety.

Currently Conservator bylaws prevent unauthorised possession of a firearm and unauthorised harm to wildlife on the hills, however effectively the Government could still request permission to carry out badger culling if they rolled out the policy.

Director Stephen Bound also argued other methods being considered such as gassing and snares could not be carried out on the land without causing harm to other animals and visitors.

Previously the Conservators ruled out making a decision on the controversial practice due to the cost and resources involved in researching the possible implications.

However Mr Bound said the group had been received a lot of calls from the public, including a campaign-led petition, to clarify their position on the issue.

“We just felt because of the time spent answering questions from people about our policy we should ask our board to review the issue.

“Actually it boiled down to safety. It meant we didn’t have to spend a lot of time looking at the scientific side of it, as we could rule it out before getting into that.

“We have over one million visitors to our land a year, and there is not a specific time where there isn’t people using the hills, even at night.

“There is just no way of carrying it out [badger culling] without creating public safety issues.”

Norma Kearton, national organiser of Operation Badger campaigning against the culling, welcomed the decision.

“This is great news. It means safety for badgers across thousands of acres of Worcestershire and will serve as a major encouragement to local councils across the region.

“There are petitions against culling to many local councils with more being set up daily.

“We are sure that the success of our local campaign in Malvern will echo across the West of England.”

A petition lobbying Malvern Hills District Council to form a policy of its own has surpassed the 750 signatures needed to prompt a full council debate on the issue.

But a council spokesman said because it was yet to be formally submitted to the council he could not confirm if or when the issue would be discussed.

The national campaign to prohibit culling received more good news last week when backbench MPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion which declared the pilot culls had ‘decisively failed’.

However the vote is non-binding and does not prevent Government ministers deciding to roll the practice out.

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