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Sunday, 6 August, 2000, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Badger cull sparks protest
Protestors in the Peak District
Demonstrators say badgers should not be slaughtered
Hundreds of campaigners from around the UK have protested in the Peak District against a cull of badgers.

The UK Government has authorised the cull in the Derbyshire national park to discover any link between badgers and bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle.

Farmers usually blame badgers for infecting cattle with the disease.

The government has sanctioned trappers to carry out the cull as part of a national trial.


It's a national disgrace and we expect strong support from tourists visiting the area

Dr Elaine King
National Federation of Badger Groups

Irene Brierton, of the Mid-Derbyshire badger group, said: "The protest went really well. We had members of the general public there as well as seasoned badger supporters.

"Generally, the public isn't aware of this cull and when people find out, they are horrified."

Dr Elaine King, conservation officer for the National Federation of Badger Groups, said: "Solutions to the bTB problem must meet four key criteria.

"They must be practical for farmers, humane for livestock, caring for wildlife and acceptable to the public.

"The Peak District's natural beauty attracts more than 20 million day visitors every year, but after the visitors have gone home the Ministry of Agriculture will be slaughtering one of the most popular animals in the countryside.

"It's a national disgrace and we expect strong support from tourists visiting the area."

Peak District protest
Hundreds of people joined the demonstration
She called for more reliable tests for bTB in cattle to replace the current skin test which can miss the infection.

She also wants further research into causes of the disease in cattle.

The terms of a European wildlife convention have given the government special permission to kill badgers in designated areas.

Evidence from the cull, which started two years ago in 10 proposed trial areas, is expected to take another two years to collect.

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See also:

03 Nov 99 | UK
Badgers gassed
23 Feb 00 | Scotland
Wildlife offenders could be caged
03 Apr 00 | Wales
Uncovering the badger-baiters
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