Veterinary body urges trapping badgers before shooting

Badgers killed as part of anti-bovine TB culling programmes in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire should be trapped in a cage before being shot, rather than being shot while roaming free.

That is the claim of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), which said data from the first two years of the cull showed this was the most humane way of killing badgers.
Badger culling was necessary as part of the strategy for control and eradication of bovine TB, said BVA president John Blackwell, but he urged the government to revert to the method of cage trapping and shooting only. “Data from the first two years of culling has not demonstrated conclusively that controlled shooting can be carried out effectively and humanely based on the criteria that were set,” he said.
The continuing spread of bovine TB within cattle and wildlife had an unacceptable impact on animal health and welfare, added Blackwell, and has the potential to pose a risk to public health. “In the public debate on badger culling and bovine TB, we are in danger of losing sight of the many other important control measures being applied. It is essential that the next government commits to a comprehensive strategy that employs all available measures,” he said.

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