Claims badger cull is 'failing'

A dairy farmer and businessman from Weston-super-Mare has claimed the badger cull in Somerset will not succeed due to a failure to shoot enough of the animals.

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Farming Minister insists badger cull on track

Half way through the badger cull and the Government says it IS on track. It's got three more weeks to run in West Somerset, but there are claims marksmen aren't killing enough badgers to make the trial scientifically worthwhile.

Today Farming Minister David Heath told ITV West Country the cull will be properly assessed at the end of the trial. Our environment correspondent, Duncan Sleightholme reports.


Charity: Pictures show badgers are dying in agony

The badger during a post mortem examination. Credit: Secret World

The animal rescue centre Secret World in Highbridge, Somerset, says a post mortem on a dead badger (pictured) proves the animals are suffering painful deaths as part of the badger cull. It is the first photo released of a culled badger.

They say that the position of the badger's organs outside its body - which is too graphic to publish - and the fact it was found away from its sett, show that it did not die instantaneously, but ran away mortally wounded.

The x-ray showing the badger's organs outside its body (left). Credit: Secret World
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Brian May apologises for badger 'genocide' remark

The rock star and wildlife campaigner Brian May has apologised for using the term 'genocide' to describe the badger cull pilots taking place in the West of England.

Queen guitarist Brian May addresses members of a Wounded Badger Patrol in Gloucestershire Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The Queen musician's alleged remarks were made during a visit to Gloucestershire last week and caused a backlash among members of the Jewish community.

Writing on his website, May said he could not remember using the phrase "genocide in the countryside," but that he had given some 20 interviews and may have lost track.

May said he had no intention to "slight the Jewish community" but maintained it was "not a very big flight of fancy" to refer to the killing of animals in this way.

"The word I prefer to use about the badger cull is 'massacre' ... because really the word 'cull' is enormously euphemistic," he added.

West dairy farmer claims badger cull is 'failing'

Derek Mead. Credit: ITV News West Country

A dairy farmer and businessman from Weston-super-Mare has claimed the badger cull in Somerset will not succeed due to a failure to shoot enough of the animals.

North Somerset Cllr Derek Mead said only a handful of badgers are being shot daily in the Exmoor culling zone.

He said after two weeks of shooting the total number of badgers killed was 'well below 100', a tiny proportion of the 2,000 needed to be shot if the six-week pilot is to be successful.

He has called for badgers to be gassed instead of shot.

The culls aim to assess if culling can be done effectively, safely and humanely, with plans to roll out the scheme more widely in areas that are hotspots for TB in cattle.

Farmers and the Government insist culling of badgers, which can spread TB to cattle, is needed to stop spiralling rates of the disease in herds.


More details on badger cull arrests in Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Police said four people were arrested in Redmarley in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

  • A 46-year-old woman from Cheltenham
  • A 34-year-old woman from Gloucester
  • A 46-year-old woman from Evesham
  • A 23-year-old man from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire

All four were arrested on suspicion of theft and aggravated trespass.

The 34-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

Anti-badger cull march gets under way in Taunton

Opponents gathered at Goodland Gardens. Credit: ITV News West Country
People were asked to wear black and white, with a hint of red. Credit: ITV News West Country
An online petition started by rocker Brian May opposing the cull now has 300,000 signatures. Credit: ITV News West Country
The march will end in Vivary Park Credit: ITV News West Country

An anti badger cull march has got underway in Taunton. Opponents gathered at Goodland Gardens and will march in opposition to the pilot culling that is currently underway in West Somerset and parts of Gloucestershire.

Around 5,000 of the animals are expected to be killed in controlled shootings over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

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