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On 17 December 2015, the Government finally published the numbers of badgers killed in the 2015 badger cull. Sadly, 279 badgers were killed in Somerset. At the same time, the Government announced plans to roll out the cull to other areas in 2016 whilst continuing to cull badgers in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Licence restrictions will be minimised to, supposedly, make life easier for the cull companies. Certainly any vestigial pretence at adhering to scientific methodology has been abandoned. Stricter cattle controls were also announced which is welcome news for those who really want to get on top of bTB in the national cattle herd. But by implementing both together, the Government has muddied the waters to such an extent that no-one will be able to say what effect either will have. What we do have, of course, is the results from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial which the Government wilfully refuses to recognise. Just to remind us, the findings came down heavily on the side of cattle control measures being the most effective way of dealing with bTB.
Unfortunately, we have a Government that is willing to sacrifice our wildlife in the interests of satisfying a vocal minority who have no intention of giving any room to wildlife. Our badger population deserves to be celebrated; many people derive immense please from catching sight of badgers going about their own business. And we will not allow this Government to decimate their numbers in the interests of political expediency. We are out and about looking after Somerset’s remaining badgers and come the New Year, we will be actively recruiting more people to join the fight to save Britain’s wildlife.