Shot badger found in West Somerset cull zone

Somerset County Gazette: THE stricken badger found shot dead by a night patrol in the West Somerset cull zone. PHOTO: Submitted by Pauline Kidner THE stricken badger found shot dead by a night patrol in the West Somerset cull zone. PHOTO: Submitted by Pauline Kidner

THE body of a badger believed to have been shot during the six week cull was found on Saturday night.

A volunteer night patrol looking for injured badgers in the West Somerset cull zone, found the dead female on Saturday night and took it to Secret World Wildlife Rescue, which is well known for its work with badgers over the last 25 years.

Pauline Kidner, Founder of Secret World, based near Burnham-on-Sea, said: “People will be outraged by the reality of what is happening in the Somerset and Gloucestershire countryside.

“No direct comments can be made on the humaneness of killing in this case without the involvement of a veterinary pathologist.

“The fact that the badger was not picked up immediately by licensed operatives and was found some distance from where it was believed to have been shot, suggests a period of flight after the shot was made, indicating that death was not instantaneous.”

The badger had been shot through the chest wall, according to the veterinary surgeon who examined and x-rayed the body.

Many people have been out walking every night to protest against the cull.

Recent reports suggest that as few as 120 badgers have been killed in Somerset.

This would be a fraction of the minimum target of 2,081 and the allocated period of six weeks is halfway through.

Campaigners against the cull believe it will have no impact on bovine TB and could, in fact, lead to populations of badgers being wiped out.

Councillor Mike Rigby is the latest to voice his concerns and frustrations about the Government’s trial badger cull.

He believes the cull is incredibly un-thought through.

In an article on his website entitled “What I have learned about the badger cull”, Cllr Rigby comments on the latest figures, which he believes show the pilot to be a shambles.

He wrote: “(if) the cull is designed to test the efficacy of the method of killing then such pitifully small numbers can surely not provide a stastically meaningful sample.

“It seems clear to me the badger cull has nothing to do with trying to tackle TB.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are confident that the badger Secret World claims to have is not connected to the culls.”

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