Early halt to badger cull

Evesham Journal: Early halt to badger cull Early halt to badger cull

A BADGER cull taking place near Worcestershire has been called off because not enough of the animals are being killed.

The cull in west Gloucestershire, which borders Worcestershire and Herefordshire, ended on Saturday, three weeks earlier than planned. Ministers hoped the scheme would reduce local badger populations by 70 per cent with the aim of reducing the spread of tuberculosis to cattle.

In its first six weeks, 708 of an estimated 2,350 badgers in the area were killed – about 30 per cent of the total. An extension was then granted up until December 18 but this has been cut short after culling contractors told Natural England a significant reduction in badger numbers by that date was unlikely.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “The extension to the cull has been worthwhile and has removed a significant number of badgers which will make a difference to disease control in the area. Now that the cull company is seeing fewer badgers on the ground I agree with the decision to stop the pilot cull for this year and I pay tribute to all those who in the face of provocation have worked so hard.”

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