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38 Degrees Poll Says 87% Of People Are Against The Badger Cull

An email from 38 Degrees confirms that 87% of those polled think that we should work together to stop the government's plan to shoot thousands of badgers next spring.


"Dear Phil,

The results are in. 87% of us think that we should work together to stop the government's plan to shoot thousands of badgers next spring. [1]

The government is consulting on their plans now until Sept 20th. [2] That means we could have just six weeks to push them to cancel the badger cull plan.

When thousands of us signed the 38 Degrees petition against England's forests being sold off, that helped persuade the government to cancel the plans. Now we can do the same to protect badgers with a huge petition against these plans to shoot them.

Can you sign the "stop this badger cull" petition now?

There's been a big debate among 38 Degrees members about badger culls. Some of us believe killing badgers would be wrong under any circumstances. Some of us believe that if the science really proved that shooting badgers could make a real dent in the cow TB problem, it would be a tragic necessity. [3]

But 87% of us agree on this: the government's current plans to shoot England's badgers simply don't stack up. The government's own scientific advisers warn that it won't solve the problem of TB in cattle, and could even make it worse. [4]

Please add your name to support a scientific approach to tackling cow TB, and against the government's plan to shoot badgers:

Cow TB is a terrible problem. It leads to the slaughter of thousands of cows, costs millions of pounds, and places terrible strain on farmers and their families. [5]

But the government has scrapped trials of badger vaccines. [6] They fail to compensate farmers for the full impact of the disease. [7] Instead they're proposing to launch a badger shooting plan which their own experts say won't solve the problem.

Together, we can persuade the government to invest in a long-term, science-led approach to cow TB. We can stand up for real solutions not unscientific political gestures. And we can make sure that thousands of wild creatures aren't needlessly slaughtered in the process.

The government is consulting on the plans right now. If we don't stop them, badger shoots could begin in a matter of months. Can you take 30 seconds now to add your name to the petition?

Thanks for getting involved,

Marie, Hannah, David, Cian, Johnny, Becky and the 38 Degrees team


[1] 38 Degrees blog post

[2] DEFRA "key stakeholders" consultation

[3] 38 Degrees blog post and discussion - and Facebook page -

[4] Government scientists say that if a cull isn't carried out "in a co-ordinated, sustained and simultaneous manner according to the minimum criteria, then this could result in a smaller benefit or even a detrimental effect." See article - and notes from DEFRA meeting April 4th 2011 -

Oxford academic Lord John Krebs led a government inquiry into the link between badgers and cow tuberculosis. He says of the government's plans: "I can't understand how anybody who's looked at the science would say this is a good idea." See more here:

Dr Chris Cheeseman, former head of the Wildlife Disease Unit says of the government's plan to cull badgers over six week periods to try to reduce the chances of making the problem worse - "Where they get the six-week period from is a mystery to me - somebody's just picked a figure out of the air."

Professor John Bourne and six other members of the expert group set up by the government Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB, 1998-2007 wrote in a letter to The Times on 13 July 2011: "Having overseen a decade-long programme of independently-audited and peer-reviewed research on this topic, we caution that such culls may not deliver the anticipated reductions in cattle TB."

[5] DEFRA information page on cow TB and its effects on farmers

[6] Farmers Guardian article "Badger vaccination project scrapped in all but one area"

[7] Farmers Weekly article "TB compensation falls short of disease cost""

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