A SOUTH Wirral MP has joined conservationist Bill Oddie to show support for a formal complaint against the British Government’s proposed slaughter of badgers.

The complaint has been submitted by animal protection charity Humane Society International UK.

It comes as a new YouGov poll shows that only 12% of the public in England think shooting badgers should be the Government’s main focus to reduce tuberculosis in cattle (bovine TB).

Sixty per cent favour developing vaccines, while only 31% of people explicitly support a badger cull.

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller said: “Badgers are supposed to be a protected species but it would appear that this Government is intent on riding rough-shod over this status.

"The *Bern Convention clearly requires that controlling badgers must not result in serious disturbance to their populations.

"If that doesn’t save these creatures against being indiscriminately shot at night to kill at least seventy percent of them, what protection do they really have?"

"HSI UK hopes the Convention will consider carefully its responsibilities to wildlife and call on the UK government to stop what will be a bloody and pointless slaughter that neither the majority of scientists nor the public supports.”

Respected naturalist and broadcaster Bill Oddie has been a vocal opponent of the proposed badger cull and is supporting HSI UK’s complaint.

Mr Oddie said: “There is an appalling bloody-minded arrogance about the government's decision.

"Opposition to the cull is not based on sentimentality, but on the fact that a great deal of thorough research suggests that it won’t work.

"What is the point of research and consultation when the conclusions are ignored?

"It implies 'we don't care what you say; we will do what we want.'

"This is reprehensible enough in itself, but when it involves the death of large numbers of much loved wild animals, it is doubly objectionable."

*The Bern Convention is a European Community agreement whose principal aim is to ensure conservation and protection of wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats.