Dorset County Council is mulling resistance to a possible badger cull in the county

Dorset County Council is to vote on whether to object to a badger cull taking place on Council-owned land.

Currently, no pilot badger cull is planned for Dorset, but Defra has previously stated that an area in Dorset will be prepared as a contingency plan, in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent a cull in either Gloucestershire or Somerset – the two Councils for which pilot culls are planned. 

Dorset County councillor Dan Brember has proposed a motion that, if passed, would see the council write to Defra secretary of state Owen Paterson to “highlight the Council’s concern about the practicalities as well as the welfare implications of the current proposed cull. Object to the cull taking place on Council-owned land. Call on the government to seek alternative methods to tackle the problem of bTB [bovine TB]”.

However, a note accompanying the motion includes advice from the council’s head of legal and democratic services. It states: “it would seem very difficult to justify introducing a ‘ban’ which would be of questionable effect and would most likely expose the council to a very costly legal challenge.”  

The motion will be discussed at a Council meeting next Thursday (18 July).     

“If the motion is carried, a letter will be written to the government explaining the county council’s viewpoint on the subject of badger culls,” a Dorset County Council spokeswoman said.

Supporters of the badger cull believe it will help tackle the spread of bovine TB in cattle.