The Oxfordshire Badger Group protested outside Merton College yesterday, timed for when the college held a talk by Professor Rosie Woodroffe called “Badgering – the quest for science-based management of bovine tuberculosis”.
This follows a protest at the Department of Biology in September, with the silent demonstration calling the University of Oxford out as the “intellectual home of badger culling”. In 2014, high profile protests against the badger cull took place in the city centre.
The group hoped that Oxford’s scientists will “accept new evidence that continuing the cull will not help farmers control bovine tuberculosis (TB)”.
Linda Ward, a Trustee of the Badger Group stated “Professor Woodroffe and other scientists from Merton College and Oxford University cannot stay silent when their original research is being used to justify killing nearly a quarter million badgers”.
Mrs Ward had previously estimated that 60% of an area of the country that is west of Banbury had become a “killing zone” of badgers.
She also commented that “Professor Woodroffe and other scientists from Merton College and Oxford University cannot stay silent when their original research is being used to justify killing nearly a quarter million badgers”.
Julia Hammett, the chairwoman of the Badger Group, said, on behalf of the group “we hope Rosie will support bringing the cruel and ineffective badger cull to an immediate end”.
Bovine TB is a chronic bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system. It mainly affects animals like cattle and badgers, but can be transmitted to humans through drinking unpasteurised milk from an infected cow, or prolonged contact with an infected animal.
Professor Woodroffe has studied badgers and bovine TB for over four decades, and the talk discussed her part in disease management and how the science behind the disease impacts policymakers.
Badger culling has taken place in the UK since 2011, when pilot schemes to curb bovine TB cases started. The controlled shooting of badgers was then trialed in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013 and 2014.
Image description: 2014 protest in Oxford against the badger cull