Badger Cull Pledge By National Trust In Cumbria
Culling of badgers will not take place on National Trust land in Cumbria, says the charity.
The nation’s biggest private landowner recently came under fire from leaders of cull companies who claimed its stance was hampering efforts to eradicate the disease in England.
In Cumbria the charity cares for over 20 per cent of the Lake District National Park, including 90 farms and over 70 per cent of the world’s Herdwick sheep.
A spokesperson said: “Culling is not taking place on our land, it’s our policy to oppose it, and if it were to happen we would oppose it.”
Licensed badger culling took place in Cumbria in the latter part of last year. Defra ministers and farming officials claimed the cull of badgers in the east of the county, coupled with more cattle measures, had given them the best opportunity to stamp out the disease in that area.
Badger culling is now taking place in 32 sites across 10 counties, including Cumbria. But none of these sites include farms under National Trust control.
“As a major landowner with many farming tenants, we understand how devastating an outbreak of bovine TB can be,” said the trust. “That’s why it’s important for us to play our part in tackling this disease by finding a practical solution to prevent its spread among badgers, between cattle and badgers and among cattle. Given the evidence currently available, we don’t believe that the widespread culling of a protected species is the right approach to managing bovine TB. We believe that the disease can be most effectively managed through a range of measures including vaccination, improved on-farm biosecurity, and changes to husbandry methods. The culls currently taking place in England have not so far shown conclusive evidence of their effectiveness in tackling bovine TB. Our concerns mean that we haven’t supported rolling out culls to areas which may affect our properties and we do not allow it on National Trust land that is leased to tenants.”