An MP is to write to 5,000 wildlife trust members to explain why he believes it is essential to have a limited cull of badgers.
Daniel Kawczynski (Con Shrewsbury & Atcham) is to write to every member of Shropshire Wildlife Trust - which has a badger as its official symbol - explaining why he believes a cull could help prevent the spread of bovine TB.
Farmers in the West Midlands have been forced to destroy hundreds of cattle because of the disease.
The question of whether badgers are responsible for spreading bovine B, and how the Government should respond, has become a highly divisive issue. The National Farmers Union argues that a cull is essential but wildlife groups fiercely oppose the idea.
Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn told the Commons he had decided against a cull of badgers to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle.
Mr Kawczynski said: “I have some brief comments about Shropshire Wildlife Trust. It is the largest organisation in my constituency, with more than 5,000 members throughout Shropshire. Of course, its symbol is a badger.
“I appreciate that badgers need to be protected, but we need to engage with the trust and show its members the devastation that wildlife is facing as a result of the spread of bovine TB.
‘‘We need to explain that many badgers die a slow, lingering death as a result of the disease.”
He added: “I will be writing to all 5,000 of them . . . to say why I think it is important to have a limited cull of badgers. That is a way in which to communicate with them, engage them, and start the debate.”
Environment Minister Jonathan Shaw said: “Although we have ruled out badger culling, we have made it clear that we remain open to the possibility of revisiting the policy under exceptional circumstances, or if new scientific evidence becomes available.”