Environment minister Caroline Spelman has announced plans to shoot tens of thousands of badgers. [1] If her plans go ahead,badgers will start being killed next summer. The government says this will help stop the spread of cow tuberculosis. But key scientists warn badger shoots could make the problem worse. [2]

38 Degrees members have been discussing the plans on the 38 Degrees website and Facebook page. [3] Many think we should get involved. What do you think? Is the government right to push ahead with killing badgers? Is this an issue we should work on?

The government is consulting on their plans right now – there’s still time to stop them. [4] If we vote “Yes” we can launch a huge petition on Monday. But it won’t work unless enough of us want to get involved.

Should we work together to protect badgers? Please take 30 seconds to vote yes or no.

The government says the decision to kill badgers is “science-led”. [5] But leading experts have spoken out against the plans. Oxford academic and zoologist Lord John Krebs led a government inquiry into the link between badgers and cow tuberculosis. He says of plans to shoot badgers: “I can’t understand how anybody who’s looked at the science would say this is a good idea.” [6]

Animal charity the RSPCA have warned that “this cull will contribute little or nothing to the long-term goal of eradicating TB nationally. Instead it will wipe out huge numbers of this much-loved species”. 

We know that when we decide to work together we can change things. We stopped the sell-off of England’s forests by building the pressure with a huge petition, letters to MPs and woodland protests, until the government was forced to reverse its plans. [8] If we decide to work together to protect badgers, we could play a key role in stopping these plans.