– A DEFRA spokesperson
The Independent Expert Panel has not submitted its report to ministers and the report has not been published. We knew there’d be lessons to be learned from the first year of the pilot culls which is why we’re looking forward to receiving the panel’s recommendations for improving the way they are carried out, because we need to do all we can to tackle this devastating disease.
– Brian May, Queen guitarist and leading anti-cull campaigner, speaking on BBC Breakfast
We should also mention that the report discovered that it was very inhumane as well. I don't think people will stand for this. You're talking about badgers taking five or 10 minutes to die. Owen Paterson's denied that but it's obviously true. [...] I have a lot of sympathy for farmers but this is not the way to solve the problem. The way we believe we can solve it is by vaccinating the badgers, and also vaccinating the cows. [...] Badgers can be vaccinated for about £120 a head, but it has just cost £4,200 per badger to kill the poor things.
A Government-commissioned investigation into the 2013 pilot badger culls in one part of the Midlands is said to have found they were ineffective and inhumane, according to BBC reports.
The controversial pilot culls took place in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in an attempt to tackle the number of cases of TB in cattle, but research found the number of badgers killed fell short of targets set to limit the spread of the disease.
The aim was to kill 70% in cull areas within a six-week period, but fewer than 50% of badgers were killed in both areas during the first six weeks. Over 5% of badgers took longer than five minutes to die, failing the test for humaneness