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Bovine TB
Extension of badger culling unfounded and unjustified
  1. Mark Jones,
  2. Alastair MacMillan and
  3. Alick Simmons
  1. Born Free Foundation, Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 4QP
  2. Humane Society International/UK, 5 Underwood Street, London N1 7LY
  3. Vinces, Barrington, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0JB
  1. e-mail: markj{at}bornfree.org.uk

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After months of unexplained delays, Defra finally released figures for the numbers of badgers killed under supplementary licences in the two original ‘pilot zones’ in Gloucestershire and Somerset during 2017.1 Culling under the original four-year licences in these zones was completed in 2016.

In 2017, a total of 172 badgers were killed in the Gloucestershire zone, and 91 in the Somerset zone. The Somerset cull failed to reach the minimum number specified under the licence by more than a third. Approximately 75 per cent were killed using ‘controlled shooting’, a method rejected by the government’s own expert panel2 …

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