Natural England, the cull licensing body, set the minimum number of badgers to be killed in Somerset at 2,100, or 70% of the total. But Defra sources said only 1,450 badgers were now believed to exist in the area.
Even with that 40% cut in the estimated population, the shooters still failed to reach the required 70%, killing only 850 animals or 58% of the new total. Defra sources could not explain the dramatic apparent drop in the population.
"Extending the cull still further will potentially cause more damage as culls conducted more slowly have a substantially greater impact in raising TB infections,"
So that's all gone spiffingly well, then.
I guess as a trial it's proven that a cull is not quite the panacea it has been touted as?