The trial badger culling from last year that tried to reduce the tuberculosis being spread from badgers to cattle is widely known to have failed miserably. Documents obtained through the "freedom of information" now show that gassing badger sets, which was banned in 1982 for being inhumane, has been under way since last year. It's good to see that the government, once again, listens to the scientists rather than trying to make farmers, and princess Anne, happy.
The research follows serious failings in the farmer-led badger culls, which involve night-time shooting of free-running badgers. The culls are intended to curb the rise of tuberculosis in cattle in England, which saw more than 26,000 cattle slaughtered in 2013. But the pilot culls failed to kill the target numbers of badgers and was not judged sufficiently humane by an independent panel, causing a planned wider rollout to be abandoned. Gassing badgers with cyanide was outlawed in England as inhumane in 1982, but some farmers have called for gassing to return, as did Princess Anne in April. There have also been suggestions that some illegal gassing using vehicle exhausts already takes place.