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PM urged to revoke badger culling licences

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By Kathryn Clark

A group of vets, former government advisers, wildlife experts, animal welfare campaigners and an MP have written to the prime minister asking him to intervene to prevent the issuing of new badger culling licences this autumn.

Their letter calls on Boris Johnson to instruct the Defra secretary of state to revoke culling licences and explore alternative methods for disease control.

Coordinated by vets Iain McGill, director of the Prion Group (which publishes independent scientific research and campaigns on animal protection issues), and Mark Jones, head of policy at the Born Free Foundation, the letter’s cosignatories include former deputy chief vet Alick Simmons, Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist, Chris Packham, naturalist and broadcaster, and Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP.

Building their case for the prime minister’s intervention, the signatories point to evidence that they say calls the current culling strategy into question. They state that while mathematical modelling had indicated that the bovine TB (bTB) situation in cattle in a Gloucestershire cull area improved after four years …

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