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    Pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire end this week

    NewsThursday 17 October 2013
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    The pilot badger cull, taking place in Gloucestershire, ended this week and the company behind the cull has applied for an extension to Natural England. 
     
    The cull, which took place over a six week period, ended up removing 708 badgers, which is just over 30% of the revised local badger population of 2,350, 
     
    According to the Chief Veterinary Officer, the period of culling should be extended in order to achieve the earliest and greatest possible impact on bovine TB in Gloucestershire. Due to this, Natural England is now considering an application for an extension from the cull company. 
     
    According to Defra, the pilot culls, which have taken place in Gloucestershire and Somerset, have been testing the safety, humaneness and effectiveness of controlled shooting as a means of reducing badger numbers. The main aim of this is, of course, to reduce the high levels of disease in these areas. 
     
    The early indications coming from the cull have pointed towards the fact that the pilot has been safe and humane. 
     
    The Independent Panel of Experts will now consider all of the information from these pilots before the government decides on next steps.
     
    Natural England are currently considering the application to extend the licence in Gloucestershire and a decision is expected shortly.
     
    Picture: Chris Parfitt
     
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