By Dominic Dyer
The badger cull is one of the most controversial farming and wildlife policies in the last 40 years. Political support for the policy in Westminster has been draining away in the past six months, following the pilot culls in Gloucester and Somerset, which are now widely considered to have been a disaster on scientific, economic and animal welfare grounds.
However, under considerable pressure from farming and landowning interests, the government is clinging to the wreckage of the policy and plans to continue badger culling in Somerset and Gloucestershire this summer and possibly extend the cull into Dorset as well.
Throughout all the twists and turns of the badger cull debate, a key argument the government has used to justify the case for culling has been the apparent success in reducing TB in cattle as a result of killing badgers in the Republic of Ireland.
It is true that Ireland has experienced a decline in bovine TB since the late 1990s, a period during which manyRead More »from The BBC’s badger cull reporting has misled Britain