The second stage of the pilot badger cull is underway in West Gloucestershire, after starting in Somerset last week. Over 100 anti-cull protesters gathered overnight to try and witness the cull, and in some cases disrupt it. Queen guitarist Brian May, who has been a vocal opponent to the cull, joined a wounded badger patrol along with 50 others in Tewksbury on Friday. However, the cull is currently still shrouded in secrecy, the exact locations where it is taking place will not be revealed due to fears protesters will disrupt it. The number of badgers that have been shot and whether they were killed humanely has not been commented on despite appeals from the RSPCA, who have called for “greater transparency” from DEFRA. DEFRA have however said that a report into the pilot will be carried out by independent experts once it is complete.
The purpose of the pilot is to try and decrease the number of cases of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. The cull has divided opinions since the beginning, with many against the cull claiming that badgers play an insignificant role in transmitting TB to cattle, and that vaccinating both badgers and cattle would be far more effective and humane.
The original Nouse article can be found here.