Green Party members from Exeter and other parts of Devon and the South West joined hundreds to protest against the government’s badger cull policy.
The protesters assembled in Belmont Park before marching through the city centre in protest at plans to extend the cull into Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
Greens have consistently opposed the badger cull trials and have campaigned for humane solutions to the devastating effects of Bovine TB. The Party has called for the money earmarked for culling to be transferred to funding research on badger and cattle vaccination.
Emily McIvor, from East Devon Green Party and the Green Party’s national speaker on rural affairs spoke at the event:
“We understand the devastating effects of TB on farmers, which is why we are calling for the funds currently being wasted on this fiasco to be invested to finding a genuine solution instead. The Green Party is clear that culling is not the answer to what we consider a very serious rural problem. The government should just admit its error and cancel the culling programme now”.
The march which took place on Saturday 29th March provided an opportunity to demonstrate the huge opposition there is to the government’s cull policy. The family-friendly event was a chance for people of all ages to voice their concerns in a democratic and peaceful protest. Exeter Green Party held a stall at the event which was visited by many attending the rally.
The march came in the wake of a non binding backbench motion in Parliament where 219 to 1 voted to halt the ongoing pilot culls . The motion stated that the pilot culls had “decisively failed” and followed revelations that culls in Somerset and Gloucester had failed to shoot the target number of badgers and also failed to meet humaneness criteria.
Emily McIvor, who is also one of the lead South West candidates in this year’s European elections, concluded her speech by saying: “Badgers have friends and friends have votes. “