Secret badger culling film reveals animal struggling for 'almost a minute' after being shot at point-blank

'Vets have confirmed prolonged suffering' campaigners say 

Zamira Rahim
Monday 01 October 2018 08:18
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Hidden video shows badger 'alive for a minute after culling'

A video of a badger moving for "almost minute" after being shot at point-blank range has led to criticism over the government's plan to cull thousands of the animals.

Filmed last week in Cumbria by animal campaigners the "Hunt Investigation Team", the clip shot with covert cameras shows a badger locked in a cage.

A man approaches the animal and shoots the animal, causing it to convulse for almost a minute before it stops moving. He later returns and retrieves the badger's body.

"The badger is shot and takes almost a minute to die, convulsing graphically," the Hunt Investigation Team said in a statement. "Vets have confirmed its prolonged suffering."

Dominic Dyer, the CEO of Badger Trust, criticised culling as a "cruel" and "unnecessary" practice in a post for the Lush website.

Claiming they helped to prevent bovine tuberculosis, the government gave permission for 11 new badger culls to go ahead across England earlier this month, despite widespread opposition from wildlife groups.

Data published by the Department for Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) earlier this month showed there has been a decline in TB incidence in the first two cull areas, Gloucestershire and Somerset, with the rate of new confirmed breakdowns now at about half the level they were before culling began.

However, a spokesperson for the Hunt Investigation Team claimed the creatures were "the scapegoat for the dairy farming industry’s multiple failings in biosecurity and animal welfare".

They added: "Bovine tuberculosis in Cumbria arose through infected cattle being imported from Northern Ireland and infecting local herds. Any badgers who also contracted TB were victims of this farming mismanagement – not the cause of the problem."

Animal welfare groups say the new culling licences could see over 40,000 badgers killed by the end of 2018.

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