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TARGETS for the number of badgers to be removed during badger culling operations in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset in 2015 were all met, according to a summary of the results of monitoring of the culls published by Defra on December 17. In all three areas, the number of badgers culled fell within the range that had been specified by Natural England when granting the licences for the operations.
In both Somerset and Gloucestershire, culls took place for the third consecutive year. The summary reports that, in Somerset, 279 badgers were culled, against a specified minimum of 55 and a maximum of 524. Of the 279 badgers killed, 148 were culled by controlled shooting and 131 using cage trapping and shooting.
In Gloucestershire, 432 badgers were culled in 2015, against a minimum of 265 and a maximum of 679. Of those culled, 279 were killed by controlled shooting and 153 were cage trapped and shot.
In Dorset, where culling took place for the first time in 2015, 756 badgers were culled, against the specified minimum of 615 and maximum of 835. Controlled shooting accounted for 316 of the badgers culled, while 440 were cage trapped and shot.
With regard to the humaneness of the culling, the summary reports that, of 63 badgers observed by Natural England staff when being shot at using controlled shooting, six appeared to …
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