Wildlife campaigners have expressed their outrage over the condition of a recently-killed badger that was taken to Secret World near Burnham-On-Sea over the weekend.
The animal was found on Saturday (September 14th) in the Somerset cull zone by a regular night patrol of peaceful groups of people voluntarily out at night looking for injured badgers.
The body was taken to Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill where it was inspected by carers.
Founder Pauline Kidner told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “People will be outraged by the reality of what is happening in the Somerset and Gloucestershire countryside.”
“No direct comments can be made on the ‘humaneness’ of killing in this case without the involvement of a veterinary pathologist.”
“The fact that the badger was not picked up immediately by licensed operatives and was found some distance from where it was believed to have been shot, suggests a period of ‘flight’ after the shot was made, indicating that death was not instantaneous.”
She says the veterinary surgeon who examined and x-rayed the body described how the badger had been shot through the chest wall.
The bullet had crossed the chest at an angle, forcing the stomach and part of the liver through the exit wound.
Pauline added: “There is a lack of science to support the killing currently taking place and great concern for the welfare of the badgers involved.”
“Many people have been out walking every night to protest against the cull. Recent reports suggest that as few as approximately 120 badgers have been killed in Somerset, although the allotted period of six weeks is already halfway through.”
“This would be a fraction of the minimum target of 2081 required by the licence. At this stage in the cull the licence holder is failing to kill the number of badgers that DEFRA’s own figures suggest would be necessary to have any impact on bovine tuberculosis in cattle.”
Adrian Coward, Chairman of the Somerset Badger group, added: “Many experts predicted the pilot trials were doomed to failure before they started and the evidence gradually unfolding from the secrecy surrounding all aspects of the cull operations would clearly prove them right.”
“There is a total lack of transparency and a truly brave Government would admit this is a disaster and stop any further shooting immediately.”
A Defra spokesperson said: “We won’t be going into details about the culls while they’re happening, but we are confident that the badger Secret World claim to have is not connected to the culls.”