Taunton Deane Borough Council will tonight vote on whether to object to the culling of badgers on its land, in the fight against tuberculosis in cattle. Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean have agreed similar oppositions.
The Government wants to start its pilot badger culling programme this autumn and West Somerset is one of the areas listed for trials, which will determine whether a cull can be carried out in a safe, effective and humane way. Part of the potential cull zone falls into the Taunton Deane Borough Council area.
At this evening's council meeting, members will be asked to vote on whether to write to the Government to:
- Highlight the Council’s concern about the practicalities as well as the welfare implications of the current proposed cull in the Wiveliscombe area of Taunton Deane;
- Object to the cull taking place on Council owned land; and
- Call on the Government to seek alternative methods to tackle the problem of Bovine Tuberculosis.
The motion has been put forward by Councillor Eddie Gaines, an independent councillor who represents Wiveliscombe and West Deane.
A spokeswoman for the council has said that they understand it is an important matter for many but in Taunton Deane, only very small areas of public or community land are included in the permitted boundary for the badger cull and, as this is mainly on housing estates, it is unlikely to be affected.
Full text of the motion can be found on the council website.