Government bTB policy on badger culling
The Government bTB policy on badger culling is as follows:
Four years of a SIX WEEK badger cull with letters of authorisation issued every year. Area size is known and the minimum and maximum number of badgers that can be shot in that area. However the actual area and boundaries with details of non-participating and participating land within those areas is not known.
After four years of the six weeks cull, SUPPLEMENTARY CULLING is licenced that lasts for EIGHT MONTHS a year for free-shooting and SIX MONTHS a year for cage trapping. Essentially, a repeal of the Protection of Badgers Act without a vote in Parliament, this means that the target number of badgers can be killed either by free shooting by licensed cull operatives from 1 June 2018 to 31 January 2019 or by cage-trapping & shooting by licensed cull operatives between 1 June 2018 – 30 November 2018.
Only licenced cull operatives can legally kill badgers both during the six week badger cull and the supplementary culling. Anyone without such a licence and killing badgers is acting illegally. SETTS ARE STILL PROTECTED during any cull operations so ANY disturbance of a sett is illegal throughout the year.
Letters of authorisation for three areas are now under supplementary culling for 2019/20 were issued on 20 June 2019.
West Gloucestershire (Area 1) and West Somerset (Area 2) are in their third year whilst Dorset Area 3 is in its first year. Supplementary culling will last for FIVE YEARS minimum and is designed to keep badger populations at a very low level. It risks driving local populations to extinction.
After five years of supplementary culling, a decision will be made by the Government whether to continue culling or not
Badger protection groups in all zones monitor setts all year round and it’s never too late to join in. If you really care about badgers, get in touch with your local group and get started now.