Badger cull was ‘inhumane and ineffective’

Reports that the pilot badger cull have been proved to be inhumane as well as ineffective have been welcomed by the RSPCA and the charity is calling for plans to roll the cull out further to now be dropped.

The Independent Expert Panel report shows pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset proved once and for all that the badger cull is not the answer to the problems of bovine TB in cattle.

The RSPCA has always warned against using the free-shooting method used during the cull and reports that up to 18% of badgers took more than five minutes to die are shocking and distressing.

These results illustrate the fact the badger cull is not only ineffective at controlling the spread of bovine TB but also inhumane.

Both pilot culls also failed to reach the 70% target scientists said was necessary to have any chance of reducing bovine TB in cattle.

The RSPCA has long campaigned against plans for a widespread badger cull for both scientific and welfare reasons and the failure of the culls undeniably support this.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “Secretary of State Owen Paterson and Defra set up the culls and the fact they have failed on two out of the three tests just proves what a disaster the culls have been. They must now listen to the experts and drop any further ludicrous plans for it to be rolled out further.

“Wales saw a 24% drop in bovine TB last year and that was due to vaccination programs and effective biosecurity

“We would urge the Government to also focus on more effective ways of controlling bovine TB such as vaccination programs in both badgers and cattle as well as improving biosecurity.

“Surely the wider roll out of this cull has no grounds for support and we will continue to campaign against it until it is stopped.”


RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS

Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099

Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825

Email:  Website:

Freedom Food – the RSPCA's farm assurance and food labelling scheme – is
celebrating 20 years of improving the lives of farm animals!

Find out more:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals registered charity no: 219099 Registered office: RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9RS