From Wildlife Extra:
Independent badger cull monitors will not be asked to oversee again
The news was criticised by Labour MP Maria Eagle who accused the Government of ignoring advice they didn’t like or didn’t want to hear.
“Now ministers have confirmed that they will not allow further expert scrutiny of their disastrous policy when the cull resumes later this year. What do the Tories do if they don’t like the independent scientific advice they get? Stop asking for advice,” she says.
Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at Parliamentary Questions: “Whether he plans to ask the Independent Expert Panel, which recently reported on the first year of the pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, to report on the second year of such culls.”
The reply from MP George Eustice, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs, was: “I have no plans to ask the Independent Expert Panel to report on the second year of the pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire.”
The Panel had reported that the scheme was inhumane and ineffective in dealing with the problem of TB in cattle and as a result the Government postponed the potential badger cull across 10 further counties in England.
The report read: “It is extremely likely that between 7.4 per cent and 22.8 per cent of badgers that were shot at were still alive after 5 min, and therefore at risk of experiencing marked pain. We are concerned at the potential for suffering that these figures imply.
“Controlled shooting in conjunction with cage trapping, over the 6-week period of the pilot culls, failed to remove at least 70 per cent of the pre-cull badger population from either pilot area. It is extremely likely that combined shooting and cage trapping removed less than 48.1 per cent of the badgers in Somerset and less than 39.1 per cent of the badgers in Gloucestershire.”
A photograph printed in a weekly farming publication of cows and badgers together in broad daylight alongside stories about bovine TB could have ‘misled’ the public into thinking this kind of interaction was normal, according to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC): here.