Badger cull returns to Somerset

On 16 May Natural England issued licenses to permit badger culling in Somerset this year. The license will permit the “Live-capture cage trapping and humane dispatch of trapped badgers by shooting” from June to November 2022. It also permits “Controlled shooting of badgers” from June to 31 January 2024.

Unsurprisingly the license that has been published is heavily redacted. The area of Somerset where the cull has been authorised is redacted. As has the minimum and maximum number of badgers permitted to be killed during the cull.

No badgers may be shot within 25 metres of a badger sett entrance. The only exception being a second shot intended to dispatch a wounded animal. Additionally no bait location may be used which is less than 30 metres from the nearest badger sett entrance. Given how complex badger sets are with multiple entrances, that is one rule which may prove tricky to adhere to.

The name of the license holder for the Somerset cull is also redacted. Again this is not a big surprise. The rules of the cull state that full records of the cull must be kept. These will now doubt be published in due course.

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