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General Election 2024: Our Manifesto for Badgers

Badger Trust share DEFRA’s letter responding to consultation concerns

The General Election has been called for 4 July 2024, and we look forward to clarity from the main political parties on their visions for badgers and their natural habitats.

In particular, we want to know their plans for the future of the badger cull.  It’s an ineffective, costly and unethical policy of mass killing badgers to control bovine TB. It’s not a cull, it’s a slaughter. 
Peter Hambly, Executive Director of Badger Trust said,

“The slaughter of badgers in the badger cull is the biggest threat to nature we face. Half our badger population has gone in 11 years. 230,000 badgers and their cubs shot. That’s why we’ve asked all the parties represented at Westminster to state their views and plans on this horrific slaughter. This has to stop, we have to save nature before it’s too late.”

What we’re asking:

  • End the badger cull now and protect the remaining wild badger population before it’s too late.
  • Deliver the rapid development and roll-out of a compulsory cattle vaccine and an improved cattle test to stamp out bTB infection in the cattle herd and protect both farmed cows and wildlife. 
  • Be honest about the true levels of bTB hidden in the English cattle herd, with compulsory nationwide use of more sensitive (reliable) testing and giving enhanced compensation to farmers.
  • Commit to a ‘One Health and One Welfare’ approach to UK ecosystems by supporting farmers to integrate effective cattle-based bTB control measures into their animal welfare and environmental sustainability practices. 
  • Make badger persecution notifiable and extend the maximum sentence for convictions under the Protection of Badgers Act (1992) from six months to five years, in line with the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021.
  • Make space for badgers and other wildlife and prevent further habitat loss by ensuring new development protects and enhances our natural environment.
  • Restore Nature Now and address the UK’s nature crisis by protecting badgers and their habitats.

Save badgers. Save nature. Protection not extinction.

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Badger Trust proudly supports Restore Nature Now, a campaign to address this nature crisis.  

Killing 230,000 native badgers—half the estimated population—is at the very heart of this unnecessary attack on nature. Badgers also face threats from high rates of wildlife crime and the rapid rise of property and road development. As ecosystem engineers, badgers provide many benefits to other species. Threats to badgers and their spaces are threats to the balance of our natural environment.

That’s why, on Saturday, 22 June, we will be marching peacefully with thousands of fellow nature and wildlife supporters to make all politicians sit up and take notice ahead of the election that we want them to act to Restore Nature Now—please join us

What we’re doing

We’re voting badger!

As a registered charity, Badger Trust is politically neutral and does not endorse any party—we only support badgers! 

We will continue to do all that we can to promote and enhance the welfare, conservation and protection of badgers, their setts and their habitats. We will work with all people who share those aims and want to see nature protected, not driven to extinction levels.   

What you can do

Five ways for you to get involved and show your support for badgers.

  1. Sign our petition to end the cull and show policymakers you want protection, not extinction.
  2. Send a letter to your parliamentary candidates asking for their views—our template will help you get started**
  3. Order your free End The Cull Action Pack,  containing an information leaflet and postcards to share and raise awareness locally  
  4. Donate to our campaigns to protect badgers, their setts and their habitats. 
  5. Get involved with your local badger group. Volunteers at badger groups across the country campaign locally to End the Cull, and they will be pleased if you join them.