The Badger Cull
Since 2013, at least 210,555 badgers have been killed under license across England as part of a Government sanctioned cull to counter Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB). That's thought to represent over half of the entire UK badger population.
In 2021 Natural England added 7 new cull areas, including one (Area 56) in Hampshire for the first time, with applications available for cull companies to obtain 4-year licenses. In 2022 a second cull area was added in Hampshire (Area 67)
and the badger cull target was increased by 115% compared to 2021. Area 56 encompasses land to the west, north and east of Basingstoke. Area 67 ranges from the Dorset Heathlands across the New Forest area and down to the Solent.
578 badgers were culled in Area 56 in 2021 and a further 253 in 2022. Area 56 culling will continue until at least 2024. A further 515 badgers were killed during 2022 in Area 67 where culling will continue until at least 2025. The total number slaughtered in the county to date stands at 1,346 despite no badger ever having been confirmed as bTB positive in Hampshire, no confirmed cases of badgers as a source of cattle herd infections ever having been identified here and none of the culled badgers even being tested for the disease.
The UK Government aims to cull between 70%-90% of all badgers in each cull area and up to 72% of ALL UK badgers are expected to have been culled by 2025. Over 99.5% of the badgers killed under license are shot without any animal welfare monitoring. Of the very few culled badgers that have been tested nationally, the majority have been found to be free of bTB.
The cull is scientifically unjustified and an appalling, deliberate persecution of a species specifically protected by legislation. The Area 56 Hampshire cull is being directed from land owned by the current Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs directly responsible for Defra's bovine TB and badger cull policy area.
You couldn't make it up.