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Ministry conceals badger cruelty

NFBG - 16th October 2000

Conservationists today condemned MAFF for trying to conceal horrific cruelty to one of Britain's best loved wild mammal. ...

  1. Badger cubs starving to death underground when their mothers are killed. Badgers are culled by MAFF up to 30 January even though it is well known that some dependent cubs are below ground at this time.
  2. Cubs orphaned and left to starve in the wild. Culling resumes on 1 May but this year alone, in one culling area, conservationists rescued starving cubs left to fend for themselves when their mother had been killed.

The report points out that:

  • Badgers suffer and injure themselves while they are trapped in cages. The report's author, John Kirkwood, states, “…being trapped is a greater welfare insult than the dispatch procedure. Trapping may cause fear, discomfort, frustration, injury and stress over a period of several hours.”
  • Many non target animals are trapped and some injure themselves so badly they die in the traps or have to be killed by MAFF staff....

Starving cubs:

The NFBG obtained evidence in May 2000 that female badgers were killed by MAFF, leaving dependent cubs. The auditor observed a lactating sow trapped on 17 May 2000....

Non-target animals:

Animals trapped included foxes, rooks, squirrels and pheasant. Some were dead already or needed to be dispatched due to their injuries....

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