Saturday, 3 January 2015

Badger cull fails to meet target in Gloucestershire

18 December 2014 Last updated at 15:33

Fewer than half the target number of badgers were killed in this year's cull in Gloucestershire, Defra has announced.

Figures released show 274 were culled by shooting or cage trapping in the county. The minimum target was 615.

In Somerset, where 316 was the minimum target, 341 badgers were killed. The six-week cull ended in October.

Defra said the level of interference by anti-cull activists had been higher in Gloucestershire than in Somerset.'Intimidation'

Writing in a statement to the government, Environment Secretary Liz Truss said: "The results in Gloucestershire reflect the challenges of extensive unlawful protest and intimidation."

However, Gloucestershire Police said there were only three arrests for criminal offences during the entire period of the cull and most protest activity was conducted lawfully.

"All reports made to Gloucestershire Constabulary of intimidation and harassment have been fully investigated and there are no prosecutions pending," a spokesman added.

Last year's pilot cull failed to meet its target in both Gloucestershire and Somerset, and an independent panel found the culls were ineffective and inhumane.

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