It is no secret that the environment minister, Owen Paterson, supports the proposed badger cull, because he believes it is necessary to rid farms of bTB. He has been a proponent of the shooting of free-running badgers, which he says is the most humane way to cull them.
But back in 2004, when the hunting of foxes with dogs was being debated, Paterson was firmly against the shooting of foxes as an alternative to hunting, because shooting was more cruel, he said at the time.
So what has changed? Damian Carrington's blog in the Observer reveals the full story.
The government has refused to publish risk assessments of danger to the public during England's imminent night-time badger shoots because doing so "could have an adverse effect upon the health and safety of the public", Damian Carrington reveals in the Observer.
The police have previously warned of the "clear potential for harm to public safety" but the location and timing of the culls remain a closely guarded secret, which campaigners say puts those vaccinating badgers or patrolling for wounded animals at grave risk.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson, who has argued against the shooting of foxes as an alternative to hunting with dogs, said: "It is highly unlikely that any government would wish to see a proliferation of rifles in the countryside."
You can read the full article here.
BADGER TRUST LAWYERS CHALLENGE NATURAL ENGLAND (16th April 2013)
The Badger Trust has challenged Natural England to justify its assertions that its massively reduced estimates of badger populations in the proposed culling areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset would not impair the effectiveness of the Coalition’s culling policy.
A fresh population estimate is now essential because the continuing uncertainty completely undermines the likelihood of proving that 70% of the badger population in an area had been killed as stipulated by the Coalition.
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