On Thursday, an important vote will go ahead in the Commons.

MP’s will be asked to decide whether or not to ban the inhumane, ineffective and tremendously costly badger cull pilot introduced by the Tories.

I have always supported animal rights and as such I will be voting to end the cull.

I know my constituents care deeply about animal rights and I have been contacted by many people who have expressed their abhorrence over the findings that the badger cull pilot was cruel and, ultimately, unsuccessful.

An independent analysis of the badger cull highlighted the outrageous failings of this Tory pilot. The analysis, commissioned by the Government and leaked through the BBC, found that pilot has not achieved its primary aim of reducing the spread of TB and has ended in a tremendously costly failure by the Government.

The cull has not only proven to be ineffective, it was also found to be inhumane. Up to 18% of culled badgers took longer than five minutes to die; this incredible suffering cannot go on.

The Government stipulated that 70 per cent of the badger population should be culled within a six-week period, however, estimates show the cull has slaughtered fewer than 40 percent. It is astounding that reportedly £7.29m of tax payer money has been wasted, with Care for the Wild animal charity estimating it cost £4,121 to cull each badger.

It is likely that the cull has actually increased the risk of bovine TB, by spreading the disease into surrounding areas. This could partly be due to the fact that injured badgers carrying TB, hit but not killed, end up disorientated and may wander in a confused state from their habitat and spread TB to other farms.

The failure of the badger cull clearly demonstrates total Tory incompetence and an unwillingness to listen to the widespread concern from communities, farmers and experts before the pilot began.

The Government need to be pushed to adopt a science-led, evidence-based approach to controlling TB. And there are better ways to stop the spread of TB.

I will be supporting the ban of the badger cull, on behalf of my constituents, to put an end to this money-wasting, ineffective and cruel scheme.

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