Government culls badgers in 11 new areas this autumn - The Wildlife Trusts

Badger culling to be permitted in a total of 69 places. The 2022 cull season could see up to 68,000 badgers killed.

Defra has quietly published information on new areas where badger culling is taking place in 2022.

There are 11 new areas for this year – including in counties such as Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire for the first time – and culling is taking place in a total of 69 places. Information published alongside the new licences states that, to achieve the 70% reduction in badger population that Defra wants to see in cull areas, up to nearly 68,000 badgers could be shot this year.

The badger cull licences that have just been published on the Defra website are all dated 26 August – this means that they may have been culling badgers for two months already in an attempt to be seen to control bovine TB in cattle. Yet experts say this approach is not effective.

Joan Edwards, director of policy and public affairs at The Wildlife Trusts says: “The Wildlife Trusts are horrified that 11 new areas have been approved for badger culling in 2022. As many as nearly 68,000 badgers could be killed across the 69 locations where culling will take place. We believe an evidence-based and scientifically reliable approach must be developed to counteract the risk posed to cattle by bTB. Culling badgers is not the answer. Badgers are not the primary cause of the spread of bTB in cattle – the primary route of infection is from cattle-to-cattle. There is work being done to accelerate the introduction of an effective cattle vaccine and improved bTB testing in cattle – these offer the best long-term way to reduce bTB in the cattle population.”

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Posted On: 01/11/2022

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