What has been proposed?

A non-selective farmer-led badger cull using ‘controlled shooting’ as the predominant method of removal.

What is a farmer-led cull?

Farmers pay shooters to kill badgers on their lands.

What is ‘controlled shooting’?

Also known as ‘free-shooting’, free-roaming badgers will be shot at night from a distance.

Is shooting humane?

No. The government’s own Independent Expert Panel branded controlled shooting ‘ineffective’ and ‘inhumane’.

What is a non-selective cull?

A non-selective cull means that as many badgers as possible will be shot.

Will all the culled badgers have TB?

No. Only around one in five badgers will test positive for TB. 1000’s of healthy badgers will be killed.

What other removal methods will be used?

Badgers may also be trapped using cages or snares (‘restraints’) before being shot.

Where will the cull take place?

Culling will initially take place across 8 areas in Northern Ireland extending to 1,200 km2.

When will this happen?

Culling could begin in July 2022 and will take place over several months each year.

How long will culling go on for?

Culling will go on for several years but could continue indefinitely.

Who is paying for the badger cull?

You are. The badger cull programme will cost tax-payers tens of millions of pounds and farmers will pay shooters to kill badgers on their lands.

Will culling badgers reduce TB in cattle?

There is no conclusive evidence that culling will reduce TB in cattle or badgers. Most experts agree that culling is ineffective and that cattle measures such as better testing and infection control are key to reducing TB in cattle.

What is the alternative to culling badgers?

DAERA could emulate the successful approach taken by the Welsh Government, which has rejected badger culling yet has already achieved a 50% reduction in bovine TB through improved cattle testing and more effective cattle measures.

Northern Ireland badger cull Q&A