To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she plans to take to ensure that she receives independent scientific advice on safety, effectiveness and humaneness for each year of the badger cull pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
The Independent Expert Panel provided advice on the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of controlled shooting of free-ranging badgers, during the pilot phase which took place during a six-week period in 2013. We have since moved from piloting to implementation.
Natural England will continue to monitor this year’s culls. Monitoring will include compliance checks, and observing accuracy of shooting by new contractors. Effectiveness and progress in each cull area will continue to be monitored closely during the culls, and the police will continue to be closely involved to ensure shooting is carried out safely.