Cull prediction

Up to 50,000 badgers could be killed this year under the government’s cull – nearly double the number of last year and three-quarters of the total killed since the cull began six years ago, campaigners claim. The figure appears in an article by Jamie Doward in the Observer on Saturday (7 September 2019).

The increase is caused by a predicted expansion in licensed culling zones.

This week the government is expected to confirm approval of a further 10 zones in England, taking the total to 42. This comes despite the fact that data released under the Freedom of Information Act suggests incidents of bovine TB may be increasing in cull zones – which would make it difficult for the government to justify expanding the cull.

There are unconfirmed claims that, in a potential breach of the law, badgers are being killed in some of the zones before the licences have been issued.

Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Badger Trust, has told Boris Johnson: “Your government is about to sign off on the largest destruction of a protected species in living memory – as you are aware nearly 68,000 badgers have been killed in England since 2013, in a failed attempt by the government to lower bovine TB in cattle.” He added that the expansion of the culling zones “could result in the killing of over 50,000 badgers in the next two months, pushing this protected species to the verge of local extinction in areas of Britain it has inhabited since the ice age.”

You can read the full story here.