Badger cull protest in Kettering town centre

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A candlelit vigil to protest against the Government’s badger cull policy will take place in Kettering on Monday.

Organisers the wildlife charity Care for the Wild and the Bedford Badger Trust branch are inviting people of all ages to take part in a walk through the town centre.

Speakers, including Care for the Wild’s policy advisor Dominic Dyer, will discuss the cull which is currently taking place and aims to kill over 5,000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Mr Dyer said: “I’ve worked in the farming industry all my life, and this is the worst agricultural policy I’ve seen in 30 years.

“I’m sympathetic to farmers, but culling badgers simply won’t work.

“Ordinary people from around the country want to protest against this barbaric cull, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of them come to Kettering. This is their chance to say that this cull is unscientific, undemocratic, unworkable and inhumane.”

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “The purpose of the pilot culls is to test if the method of controlled shooting by marksmen is safe, humane and effective at removing enough badgers to have a long term impact on levels of bovine TB.

“As part of the licence criteria Natural England have set minimum and maximum numbers of badgers to be killed. This is to ensure the culls deliver the disease reduction benefits without endangering the local badger population.

“The cull will be carried out by trained marksmen who have passed a Government-approved training course. The cull will be monitored to check its humaneness, safety and effectiveness.

“Vaccination does not cure sick badgers, so it would not stop infected badgers continuing to spread the disease for years ahead.”

The vigil will start at 8pm on Monday, September 23, at the Market Place.