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Badger Cull Latest
Posted 7 October 2013
Two worrying news stories have emerged this week: the first is that the government appears to be moving towards sanctioning the gassing of badger setts; the second is that a licensed badger shooter left a box of live ammunition lying on a public footpath.
This week comes the news that Defra has commissioned research into gassing badger setts. With the pilot badger cull likely to fail to achieve the government’s stated aims, it is expected that gassing badgers will be the next step. The NFU, unsurprisingly, has welcomed the decision.
A badger shooter has now had his licence suspended after he left 16 cartridges of live ammunition in the Gloucestershire badger cull zone. The man who found them said: ‘The bullets are highly lethal and can kill a person with one shot and that is why they are used for these large animals. No gunman should be leaving these sorts of bullets around.’ Police have said that no criminal charges will be brought.
The campaigner also reported that he had seen four gunmen working alone, when the Defra guidelines clearly state: ‘A minimum of two people should be involved in night shooting for health and safety reasons and so that, if a spotlight or image intensifier is being used, one person to operate the spotlight/image intensifier leaving the other free to concentrate on shooting and the safe handling of the firearm.’ If this basic advice is being ignored, and with the government refusing to issue any further information about the cull, one can only guess what other regulations are being flouted.