A Lancashire politician is to lead a Westminster debate calling for the vaccination of badgers as a scheme to cull populations of the animal in southern parts of England continues.
A controversial scheme to kill badgers in order to reduce the threat of tuberculosis in cattle - which can be spread by badgers - has started in southern England.
Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris is currently working with a group of animal rights activists called Team Badger and recently met with their spokesman, Queen guitarist Dr Brian May CBE.
Team Badger is offering to fund a vaccination programme and will be recruiting volunteers to administer the vaccine that its supporters claim will offer a cheaper and more humane alternative to the cull.
David Morris said he hopes DEFRA will adopt this approach.
Speaking from Westminster he said: “I will be asking DEFRA to consider Team Badger’s proposal of the community vaccinating badgers.
“ This is a more human and less expensive alternative to the cull and I will be keen to hear the Minister’s thoughts during the debate.”
Previously the government gave the green light to the pilot badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
The proposals are part of a package of measures aimed at controlling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle.
Campaigners are opposed to the cull because they say many perfectly healthy badgers will be slaughtered as ‘collateral damage’.
Protesters have estimated as many as six out of seven badgers killed could be bTB free.
The RSPCA is also backing calls for a vaccination scheme, calling it a “more effective way of dealing with the problem.”