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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.


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

  1. lisa Oct 22, 2013 at 13:49

    What gives these farmers to take matters into their own hands? When they dont even look after their own livestock properly

  2. SUE GRIFFITHS Oct 13, 2013 at 23:20

    Since badgers are a protected species, I sincerely hope that those farmers that have been gassing them will be brought to justice. The public also need to know the names of these criminals so that we can boycott their produce and hopefully drive them out of business. I stopped buying dairy milk, cheese and yogurt two years ago, and I urge others to do likewise. There are lots of alternatives to dairy produce. As for milk, cows milk is for cows babies. Humans are the only species to drink milk after weaning. Besides that, God knows how many antibiotics are in milk.

  3. Janet McKeag Oct 13, 2013 at 21:00

    If farmers were offered a subsidy for having badgers on their land they would be queuing up to have them – whether or not they were infected with BTB!!. I am boycotting English meat and dairy products.

  4. Cathy Gallagher Oct 13, 2013 at 19:20

    Not only is this evil and pointless it is also cruel.
    The Government want to build on green belt land. That would be a completely different demonstration, but they keep pretending they care about bTB. They don’t, and badgers don’t cause it. Who saw the programme “The Burrowers” recently? All the badgers were tested three times. One only failed his last test AFTER HE’D BEEN IN CONTACT WITH CATTLE. Which begs the question; who’s infecting who?

  5. Michael Windle Oct 10, 2013 at 16:14

    Any Farmer found to have gassed to death Badgers should face the full extent of the Law. Anyone knowing of such actions should report them to the RSPCA & the Police. They should have all their subsidies removed also.
    The NFU are a National Disgrace.

  6. Ann Anderson Oct 10, 2013 at 15:00

    I for one will be glad to see the back of this Tory party, it’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else. The last time I checked badgers were a protected species by law!! that law still stands. Oh sorry unless of course your a farmer becaues then you get to treat your animals like shit and then wipe out our wildlife.
    I have really tried to feel sorry for farmers, to look at things from their point of view, but not anymore.

  7. Ann Ingham Oct 10, 2013 at 10:42

    I am not a bit surprised. To the farmer their animals are seen as money not as a living , feeling creature. I see a farmer, that has a field across from where I live, loading his sheep into a trailer and when one of them slips and falls on the ramp in panic he is kicking it to make it get up .I see some of his sheep are very lame and he doesn’t visit them for weeks on end or tend to their feet. I have had to report one of his sheep to the rspca because it was literally dying on it’s feet. I hate this. I only buy my meat from people I know who rear their animals in a decent way. I hope these farmers get prosecuted for this terrible crime if not then there is sadly something amiss in this world.

  8. CHRIS KEMP Oct 10, 2013 at 08:58

    I support arable farmers- how could you not? I need to eat! But certainly not diary or meat farming- cruel, unnecessary, wasteful of resources and destructive of wildlife. The future is organic , arable farming and the sooner livestock farmers switch the better!

  9. Lofty lady Oct 10, 2013 at 08:48

    Join the NFU and commit a crime, no problem you will get away with it. These wildlife terrorists (strong word but I believe fully justified) have no right to murder innocent WILDLIFE, please boycott produce from these zones. West Country dairy is widely available but now supermarkets could be accused of aiding and abetting criminals maybe badger friendly produce will be labelled.

  10. Linds Oct 10, 2013 at 07:51

    Hmmm, if any farmer is doing something illegal, then surely they should be taken to ask over this and charged? This is not right.

    it’s important to get to grips with the fact that almost certainly badgers are not to blame for the health problems of cattle. Therefore either the farmers are doing this out of ignorance (in which case, find out the truth); or because they are enjoying it or see it as part of country life.

    I really hope it is not the second… and as for the first, it’s NOT acceptable and they need to alter their perceptions and learn to live with the land and not blame badgers.

  11. Sue Lindly Oct 10, 2013 at 01:13

    Badgers were never the farmers to be killed. When this government is long gone. Then the farmers will be left to pay for their absolute bloodthirst, in pocket and in name.

    These wildlife criminals have been shown to be who they truly are; nothing short of murderous psychopathic thugs. Which surely raise eyebrows on how they treat their cattle.

    Farmers have stepped firmly over the line. Defra have spelt death to their industry and they will never see a penny of mine.

    I will support farmers with my pocket, who live in the same century, as the rest of us.

  12. sharyn Oct 9, 2013 at 23:45

    I am anti farmer anti nfu and anti tory murdering scum.
    I hate land owners too.
    there is something under handed going on her and our poor badgers are the scapegoats.
    i would never vote tory its a fact they hate all wildlife. they wont be satisfied until all the wildlife has gone then they will be able to build on green belt land.

  13. Betty Workman Oct 9, 2013 at 20:04

    Farmers you are a disgrace.

  14. Betty Workman Oct 9, 2013 at 20:02

    This is shocking beyond belief.

  15. Carol Hill Oct 9, 2013 at 19:41

    Cruel bunch of murdering farmers

  16. Carol Hill Oct 9, 2013 at 19:39

    This a digusting cull and to find out that gassing of a poor badgers has been going on at the same time is really cruel and evil why has the farmers got the right to kill badgers they are supposed to be protected no wonder there is not as many badgers in Somerset
    Shooting and gassing them what a bloodthirsty evil country we live in you all should be ashamed of your selves farmers get a lot of help via the tax payer and as one of those I would not want any money from my taxes going to you lot the farmers

  17. Pat Gatley Oct 9, 2013 at 19:36

    Conservative government – For goodness sake admit what you are doing is only to appease some of the farming and landowning community and has no scientific basis.
    It’s a mess. Please stop trying to defend your actions and re-think what you are doing.

  18. Mrs Barbara Ellis Oct 9, 2013 at 19:34

    Have these people been reported to the police since they have confessed to a serious crime? If not, when will you make the report?

    • Olivia Oct 10, 2013 at 05:58

      Completely agree. This is totally illegal and needs to be followed by a police investigation. RSPCA?

  19. Jon willis Oct 9, 2013 at 19:09

    Maybe the farmers illegally killing our native wildlife !! Which was here long before domesticated herds if cattle would like his animals illegally killed??? No thought not !!! Well native wild animals belong to all of us !! I can see farmers alienating the british public and even becoming targets for reprisals !!!

  20. Dawn Richardson Oct 9, 2013 at 19:00

    These Farmer’s are heartlessly killing these creatures a bloody disgrace and they should not be in charge of any animals including Bovine.


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