THE RSPCA is echoing the anger and dismay of top scientists provoked by a Government advisor's call for a badger cull to reduce bovine TB (bTB) in cattle.

Robust science has shown that a cull could have disastrous consequences for cattle and badgers alike, so leading experts are shocked by the stance of Government advisor Sir David King. His recommendation directly contradicts the most rigorous scientific study produced on the impact of badger-culling on bTB in cattle.

Professor John Bourne - whose Independent Scientific Group (ISG) undertook the badger-culling study - recently told MPs the King report appeared "hastily written"

and "superficial". The ISG recommended cattle controls to reduce the spread of bTB, effectively ruling out a cull.

To proceed with a cull would make a nonsense of the ISG research which took almost ten years, cost the lives of more than 10,000 badgers and cost taxpayers £34m. It would also be the worst possible option for cattle and badgers.

To help avoid a senseless cull please contact your MP, or write to the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

For more information - and to sign the online petition - visit Alan Wolinski, RSPCA Regional Manager for North Region.