• Badger Trust Staff Team

Horrific reality of the badger cull exposed

The horrific reality of the badger cull has been exposed, with heartbreaking images of the slaughter of badgers from Derbyshire Against the Cull.

WARNING – distressing images with graphic content

This exposé – shared in an article by the Mirror – shows badger cull contractors delivering shot and bagged badgers from the Derbyshire cull zone to a stone barn in Alport, near the popular tourist town of Bakewell.

The barn is being used to store shot badgers before they are taken away to be incinerated. It contains blue barrels for storing dead badgers, and vans arrive at all times of the day to fill them up with badger carcasses.

Badgers killed in the cull are classed as 'hazardous waste' as the carcasses could carry bovine TB and their movement, bagging and storage are subject to strict rules laid down by the Animal Plant Health Agency. The practices shown here appear to vary widely from the rules and regulations as understood by the Badger Trust.

Cull contractor carries out bags containing slaughtered badgers ©Derbyshire Against The Cull

Cull contractor throwing bagged badger carcass to load truck ©Derbyshire Against The Cull

Slaughtered badger in a plastic bag ©Derbyshire Against The Cull

Reacting to the shocking images the CEO of the Badger Trust, Dominic Dyer, said:

“These images from Derbyshire Against the Cull lift the lid on the brutal reality of the badger cull which is taking place across 11 counties of England stretching from Cornwall to Cumbria, in the biggest destruction of a protected species ever seen in Britain.

Boris Johnson intervened to stop culling in Derbyshire last year. Yet as he proudly boasts of protecting more habitats and species in Britain at a global UN summit this week, the reality is his Government is now pushing badgers to the verge of local extinction.”

He continued: “The government could kill every badger in England, but bovine TB will remain in cattle herds due to unreliable bTB cattle testing, biosecurity and cattle movement controls.”

By November 2020, over 164,000 badgers could be slaughtered in England as a result of the cull policy since 2013, at an estimated public cost of over £70 million.

The vast majority of the badgers killed in the cull policy are not being tested for bTB and over 90% are likely to be free of the disease.

The Badger Trust believes that many of the dead badgers being dumped in the barn could have previously been vaccinated <https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/projectvaccinate> by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, under a publicly funded badger vaccination programme.

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Read the full Mirror story: Badgers shot dead before blood-soaked corpses are stored near tourist hot spot

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