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Government exploring the possibility of culling badgers by gas

The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has said he is exploring the possibility of culling badgers by gassing them. Speaking shortly after the end of a six-week trial cull in Somerset in which marksmen failed to kill enough animals, Mr Paterson said he was examining other ways of reducing their numbers.

Responding to a question from the Green MP Caroline Lucas in the Commons, Mr Paterson said: "We have to use the tools used by other sensible countries... We made it quite clear in our TB strategy we would look at other methods of removing wildlife, and yes we are looking at gassing, but we will not use it unless it is proven to be safe, humane and effective."