Belper-based Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has urged the Government to drop its badger culling plans after MPs backed a motion in favour of vaccination.
The trust welcomed support of the motion, put forward by Anne Main MP, which saw 219 MPs vote in favour, with only one voting against it.
A spokesman for the conservation organisation said it was “greatly encouraged by the landslide of support” to drop the cull and to find a better approach in tacking bovine tuberculosis (TB).
However, the vote is not binding and the Government does not have to action as a result.
Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Manager, said: “Yesterday’s vote was critical and reflects a shift in attitudes – it’s good to see previous supporters of the cull now listening to public opinion and considering alternatives. We really hope the Government listens to this and takes the appropriate action to tackle this disease.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is currently fundraising for a badger vaccination programme in the county which will begin this May.
Along with other Wildlife Trusts around the country, and other organisations, it hopes to prove that vaccination is a practical, cost-effective option.
The trust is urging the Government to commission an independent expert review to examine how badger vaccination, alongside a comprehensive package of cattle measures: better biosecurity, stricter movement controls, improved TB testing and development of a cattle vaccine can better tackle bovine TB.