England

Almost 11,000 badgers killed in 2016 TB bovine cull

Badger Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Opponents of the government's plan say there is no evidence the cull is effective

Almost 11,000 badgers were killed in 2016 as part of a government plan to control the spread of bovine TB.

A total of 10,886 badgers were culled in 10 areas in the counties of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and Herefordshire.

The government is proposing to allow continued "strictly licensed" culls to stabilise the badger population at its now reduced level.

Opponents of the plan say there is no evidence the cull is effective.

'Badgercide'

The highly-controversial culls began four years ago with the aim of stopping the spread of TB among cows, although animal welfare campaigners have criticised them as "inhumane and ineffective".

But the government insists "proactive" culling, which aims to remove 70% of the badgers in a given area, is necessary to tackle the disease which it says costs the taxpayer more than £100m every year.

The Humane Society International UK said it was outraged by the culls, describing them as "badgercide".

Director Claire Bass said: "Nearly 11,000 badgers have been shot in England since September this year, a staggering 14,829 badgers overall since the start of the culls, a shocking and grim death toll for this supposedly protected species."

Badger cull numbers for 2016

  • Gloucestershire: 2,110
  • Somerset: 217
  • Dorset: 502
  • Cornwall: 1,562
  • Devon: 2,871
  • Dorset: 3,000
  • Herefordshire: 624

Source: Defra/Natural England

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites