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Badger Cull – Farmer Admits: ‘We’ve Been Gassing Badgers Illegally’

‘Illegal cull hidden under a legal one’ – Care for the Wild.

A Somerset farmer has admitted that he and others have been gassing badgers illegally, according to a Sky News report.

The report, airing tonight, recorded the confession while putting together a story on the badger cull. The implication is that farmers on at least 14 farms in the South West have been taking the law into their own hands while the official government cull has been taking place.

Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor for Care for the Wild, who worked exclusively with Sky on the report, said he was ‘shocked but not surprised’ by the revelation.

“This confirms our suspicions that farmers will go to any length to eradicate badgers from around their farms,” he said. “This is an illegal cull hidden under a legal one – for every badger shot as part of the cull, there are genuine concerns that one or more maybe being killed by gassing or other illegal methods.

“Gassing is a horrific way to wipe out families of badgers. And the frightening thing is that we now hear that Defra are investigating gassing as a legitimate culling method. However, just three years ago, David Cameron justified fox hunting by saying that ‘gassing and shooting’ foxes was ‘very, very cruel’(1).

“We need David Cameron. Owen Paterson and Peter Kendall of the NFU to make a clear statement now – that gassing will absolutely not be used to cull badgers, and illegal gassing will be stamped out immediately. Otherwise they are playing with the future of a beloved natural icon which the science says is not guilty of causing this bTB crisis.”

The revelation comes on the day that Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced the intention to extend the Somerset cull, which ended on Monday. He also announced that there were far fewer badgers in the cull zone than first thought.

“Unless our government can’t count, then something has happened to those badgers,” said Dominic Dyer. “There has to be a suspicion that they are being wiped out under our noses by gassing while the official cull has provided a noisy distraction.

“Badger numbers in Somerset alone, according to Defra, have fallen from 4300 to 1450 in a year. Allowing for natural fluctuations, that’s a huge drop. If it’s been caused by illegal gassing, combined with the cull, then we’re in dire danger of losing an entire population of badgers which is beyond horrific.”

A peaceful protest against the badger cull is taking place in David Cameron’s constituency of Witney in Oxfordshire on Saturday (12th) at noon. For more information see

Care for the Wild is a charity based in Sussex dedicated to the protection of wildlife in the UK and abroad.


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