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Press Release: RSPCA should Prosecute Government Badger Killers, says Oxford Ethicist

29th May 2013

The RSPCA should prosecute those involved in the mass killing of badgers says leading animal ethicist, Professor Andrew Linzey a theologian at Oxford University.

“The planned killings — erroneously called “culls” — which are planned to take place on 1 June are utterly bereft of scientific or ethical justification”, says Professor Andrew Linzey.

“In the history of animal protection, we have witnessed many attempts to fool the public but none more concerted or ridiculous than the proposed killing of thousands upon thousands of badgers.  In less than a week’s time government paid guns will shoot free running badgers which will undoubtedly cause suffering. The RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations should bring test cases to demonstrate the cruelty involved and the perfidity of the government’s justifications.”

“The Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, has shown himself incapable of reflecting either the views of the Commons (which has voted overwhelming against the so-called “cull”) or the majority of public opinion. He should resign to make way for someone who understands the nation’s concern for the proper treatment of animals.”

“The only solution to bovine TB is the vaccination of cows and/or badgers. Everything else is dross and detail.”

Professor Linzey is Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics ( and author of Why Animal Suffering Matters published by Oxford University Press.


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