Just how serious is Defra about assessing the humaneness of free shooting badgers?

Defra released some surprising news this morning via Twitter (see below). Of the 120 or so badger carcases that will be independently monitored for the humaneness of their deaths, only 50% (i.e. 60 badgers) will be badgers killed through free shooting. The remaining 50% of carcases will be from badgers shot after first being cage trapped. This seems curious, given that of the 5,000-odd badgers that will be killed during the pilot culls, the vast majority, or up to 90% will be free shot, i.e. not cage-trapped before shooting.

Badgergate wonders:

1) Who advised Defra on this sampling strategy?

2) Why are cage trapped badgers to be included in the humaneness monitoring when this method was already assessed to be humane in the RBCT? Especially since Defra uses this argument to justify why badgers will not be assessed for TB infection.

3) Can a sample size of 30 badgers in each cull area ever generate any meaningful and reliable information on the humaneness of free shooting as a method of badger control?



Also see:

1. New FOI shows 10% of badgers to be cage trapped 

2. Just how humane is free shooting badgers likely to be? 

3. Pilot culls – the basics