Statement 2018

Covert cameras placed by the Hunt Investigation Team on vulnerable, unprotected badger setts in the Cumbria cull zone revealed for the first time the true horror of the badger cull.

HIT’s team has protected  badgers in multiple cull zones for many years. In 2018 hidden cameras were placed in order to evidence malpractice and cruelty associated with the cull.

Cameras on one sett recorded the true horror of a badger being killed in a trap. The badger is shot and takes almost a minute to die, convulsing graphically. Independent vets reviewing the footage have confirmed the badger’s prolonged suffering.

The shooters are seen and heard laughing about the kill and the fact that the shot passes straight through the badger’s head. The badger is carried off and thrown in the back of a pick up, without any kind of infection control such as sealed bagging.

Donald Broom, Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfar at
Cambridge University, who watches the video said:

“It is likely the badger was conscious and suffering for up to a minute. Depending on where the bullet goes, it may take seconds, minutes, hours or days to die. There would be pain and fear, so very poor welfare, in the period before unconsciousness.

This badger was killed in the cruel, unscientific cull.

Over 176,000 badgers have been killed since the cull began in England in 2013 and thousands more healthy badgers will be killed as long as new cull zones are added.

They are – quite simple – the scapegoat for the dairy farming industry’s multiple failings in biosecurity and animal welfare. Dairy farmers do not vaccinate their cows against TB, because this affects their marketability. Most decline the offer of badger vaccination. many continue to practice poor biosecurity and infection control.

An illustration of a badger

Caroline Allen, the RSPCA’s London Veterinary Director, said:

“Clearly this badger did not die immediately and… it is possible that the badger could have suffered. The guidelines state that the shooter must check that the badger is dead and follow up with a second shot as soon as possible. This was clearly not done.

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