In 2021, Defra held a Consultation on commencing more 4-year intensive badger cull licences in up to 10 new areas per year, starting in 2021 & 2022. This was in addition to further supplementary badger culling. The consultation ended in April 2021 and was quickly followed by the issue of changed guidance to Natural England in May. A record number of Supplementary Badger Cull licences (20) were issued on 14th May, to become active on 1st June 2021.
Despite the tangled words of the consultation documents, particular assertions stood out, including that “badger culling is working”. Defra refused to retract their misleading statement or to extend the consultation period. It is now clear that Defra defend their new policy by resting all but completely on the one analysis of a very small amount of data and only data to 2017, suggesting a much caveated, theoretical estimate of bovine TB (bTB) reduction benefit from killing badgers. This in turn has been repeated by the government and NFU, perpetuating government misinformation to stakeholders without the massive uncertainty and doubt and in an extremely unprofessional way.
Now a new peer-reviewed paper by three independent scientists,Tom Langton and two veterinarians Mark Jones and Iain McGill, has been published in the journal Veterinary Record (18 March 2022). It brings the long awaited analysis on bovine TB and badger culling. You can read more about this new research on our 18 March blog. A short video produced by Wiley summarising the research is available to view here.
Thanks to generous donations from Born Free and others, you can read a copy of the full paper here.
Ecological impacts challenge – Permission granted!
Court of Appeal confirm new hearing regarding the ecological impacts of badger culling (NERC Act 2006). Judicial Review Case: CO/2062/2020
The Badger Crowd is pleased to confirm that an Application to the Court of Appeal has been successful, reopening the judgements in the High Court of Mr Justice Griffiths in 2021. The appeal has taken a very long time to come through and we now hope the case will be heard before any new licences are issued by Defra and Natural England, and used this year.