‘Badger culls were an epic failure’

David Macdonald

David Macdonald

First published in News

THE badger culls were a failure of epic proportions, according to an Oxford University academic who played a part in authorising them.

Last year two trials were given the go-ahead by public body Natural England, which reports to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in Somerset and West Gloucestershire.

They were estimated to have killed 65 per cent and 39 per cent of badger populations in each area, respectively.

But now the scientist who is the chairman of Natural England’s scientific advisory board has hit out at the trials.

Prof David Macdonald, in a report for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, said: “Even after extensions they killed only 65 per cent and 39 per cent, the latter of which in Gloucestershire approximates the worst possible outcome.

“Following this epic failure it is hard to see how continuing this approach could be justified.”

His comments are embarassing for Natural England and the Government, which continue to back plans to carry out further culls later this year as part of a four-year programme aimed at eradicating TB in cattle.

In December, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson claimed the decision to extend the cull had “been shown to be the right one”.

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

'I'm glad my evil ex has been jailed for injuring me'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A WOMAN left with life-changing injuries after her violent boyfriend pulled her car’s handbrake on the A40 said she is glad the “evil” man has been jailed.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

Haggis and a wee dram on menu for Burns Night

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

FAMILIES and friends across Oxford are coming together to celebrate Sunday’s Burns Night in style.

Delight at decision to replace whole water pipe in Normandy Crescent

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

RESIDENTS have welcomed Thames Water’s decision to replace the water pipe running through a flood-blighted street as “a step in the right direction.”

A34 northbound re-opened after lorry crash

Oxford Mail:

8:28am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE A34 northbound between Marcham and Milton re-opened this evening after the road was closed when a lorry crashed into a ditch last night.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree