To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how his Department will ensure the independent assessment of the (a) humaneness, (b) safety and (c) effectiveness of the two pilot badger culls during the period of the extension of the pilots.
A full programme of observations and post-mortems to gather the required evidence to support an assessment of the humaneness of controlled shooting was completed, as planned during the six weeks of the pilot culls. It was concluded that continuing observations beyond the required 60 and associated 120 post-mortems would add little to the statistical robustness of the data gathered during the planned six weeks of the humaneness study.
Monitoring was carried out by Natural England to ensure that cull companies complied with the licence conditions and best practice guidance (which include requirements for safe and humane shooting) continued through the extension periods. A post-mortem capability was maintained to support any investigations if necessary.