Ministers claim soaring number is a success in effort to cut bovine TB in England but charities question cull’s effectiveness
Friday 16 December 2016 17.54 GMT Last modified on Friday 16 December 201623.15 GMT
The number of animals shot in England’s controversial badger cull soared to more than 10,000 this autumn, as part of the government’s attempt to cut tuberculosis (TB) in cattle.
Ministers claimed the result as a success but a leading scientist said there was “no basis” for suggesting the cull was effective, while wildlife charities said badgers were being used as a scapegoat for failures in the intensive livestock industry.
Badger culling was rolled out to seven new areas in 2016, and with ongoing shooting in three other areas, 10 culls took place across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Somerset.
A total of 10,866 badgers were killed between August and October, according to government data published on Friday, bringing the overall total to more than 14,800 since culling began in two areas in 2013. Half the badgers killed in 2016 were shot without first being trapped, a method rejected as inhumane by the British Veterinary Association in 2015.