Badger cull in U.K. fails to meet target: report

Dec 18, 2014, 7:55 AM EST
Badger in its den.
AFP/Getty Images

Fewer than half the target number of badgers were killed in this year's cull in Gloucestershire, Defra has announced. The BBC writes:

Figures released show 274 were culled by shooting or cage trapping in the county. The minimum target was 615.

In Somerset, where 316 was the minimum target, 341 badgers were killed.

The six-week cull ended in October. Defra said the level of interference by anti-cull activists had been higher in Gloucestershire than in Somerset.

Last year's pilot cull target failed to meet its target in both Gloucestershire and Somerset, and an independent panel found the culls were ineffective and inhumane.

The findings from Defra show this year in Somerset 147 badgers were culled by controlled shooting and 194 by cage trapping.

In Gloucestershire 166 were shot, and 108 trapped.

The figures show none of the shot badgers, which were observed by staff from Natural England monitoring the humaneness of the cull, took longer than five minutes to die.