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Badger Culls ‘failed and were inhumane’ – independent report

An independent report into the badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded 'that they were not effective', according to the BBC.

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An independent report into the badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded ‘that they were not effective’, according to the BBC.

The report showed that the cull failed to kill anywhere near the number that was deemed to be required to have an impact on bovine TB. It also said that potentially up to 18% of badgers killed took more than five minutes to die.

Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust and Policy Advisor to Care for the Wild, said:

“Anyone who has scrutinised the disastrous badger culls will have hoped for, and expected, an Independent report to come up with this result- that the culls failed completely on both efficiency and humaneness grounds.

“David Cameron should now be taking a long hard look at this policy which has shamed his government. It was conceived for political, not practical reasons. It was carried out in an arrogant and careless fashion which has now been officially branded a failure. And the rhetoric around it, designed to cover its obvious flaws, has served to entrench the opposite factions in a battle which serves no-one. Please Mr Cameron, save farming by saving the badgers and dealing with this issue efficiently and humanely, two attributes which have been sorely missing so far.

“The pro-cull lobby will no doubt talk about the number of cows killed because of TB, and will talk about wildlife needing to be dealt with. But they won’t mention the recent revelations that Defra got the figures wrong and that the problem isn’t as bad as they thought. They won’t mention that the number of cattle slaughtered last year dropped by over 10% due to tighter farming practices alone. The answers to beating this disease do not come from killing badgers.

“The culls probably cost over £10 million or over £4,000 per badger killed, and have quite possibly increased the risk of TB in cattle as a result of perturbation caused by wounded or distressed Badgers moving between setts

“As Care for the Wild revealed last month, free shooting proved a complete failure with only 24% of badgers being killed by this method in the initial six weeks of the pilot culls, rather than the targeted 70%. The vast majority of badgers were cage trapped and shot by Government employed teams at significant cost to the tax payer, when it would have been cheaper to vaccinate and release the animals

“No effective monitoring for humaneness was put in place and many badgers could have been left to die long painful deaths through gun shot wounds or were trapped overnight in sub zero damp and muddy conditions before being shot at close range with the wrong calibre of ammunition.

“The badger cull pilots have been a complete failure on scientific, economic and animal welfare grounds, and now the Independent Expert Panel has reached this conclusion all future plans to cull badgers should be stopped immediately.”

 

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