Natural England revokes permit for badger cull
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:
LONDON––The British wildlife agency Natural England on
November 29, 2013 revoked a license granted to the Department of
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to cull 70% of the badgers in two
areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset, to see if the culling might help
to reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis.
Badgers as well as cattle are susceptible to bovine TB, and
have long been blamed by farmers for failed efforts to eradicate the
disease from British herds.
The cull was to continue until December 18, after the original
six-week culling time was extended to 14 weeks, but even when the cull
quota was lowered from 70% of the badgers in the target area to 58%,
the hired shooters were barely able to kill half as many badgers as
would have been necessary to fill the quota.
““The badgers moved the goalposts,” claimed environment
secretary Owen Paterson in October 2013. “We’re dealing with a wild
animal, subject to the vagaries of the weather and disease and breeding
“The pilot culls have failed in every aspect,” said RSPCA
spokesperson David Bowles. “Badgers have been needlessly killed and
this could well have made the problems of bovine TB in cattle worse,
not better, because of the perturbation effect,” meaning that
badgers have been obliged to wander further in search of mates and safe