Slaughter of badgers condemned

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The Independent Online
Badger-lovers yesterday demanded an immediate end to 20 years of slaughtering badgers to protect cattle from tuberculosis, writes Nicholas Schoon.

About 14,000 badgers have been killed over the years, first by gassing setts with cyanide and then by luring them into traps and shooting them in the head. Professor David Bellamy, a broadcaster and environmental campaigner, said: ``This badger slaughteris a cruel waste . . . which has very clearly failed in its objectives.''

The National Federation of Badger Groups claims that the Ministry of Agriculture's latest control strategy in south-west England, the area worst affected by TB, will double the number of badgers being shot.

The new strategy is to trap badgers on a farm where TB has appeared and all surrounding farms, then take a blood sample. If only one animal from a sett is found to have TB then every one trapped from that sett would be killed - bar suckling mothers. If all are clear, the badgers are freed.