The charity Humane Society International said the pilot cull in Gloucestershire fell short of its minimum target, citing an achieved figure of 253 badgers (compared to an alleged target of between 615 and 1,091).
HSI said the figures were leaked to them by a source at Natural England – but Defra refused to confirm them and said the figures still needed to be independently audited. The NFU discarded HIS’s assertion and said the culls were successful.
President Meurig Raymond said: “Where it has been possible to carry out the work without interruption, they have been effective as part of a four-year culling strategy.
“Although the policy is clearly controversial, I am absolutely convinced these culls will make a meaningful contribution to the eradication of tB.”