THE 2018 badger cull finished on Friday, October 26, although the licence for the new areas (including the area from the A3066 west to Chard and Axminster) no longer defines a six-week limit.

In theory, therefore, cage trapping and shooting could continue in these areas until November 30 and free shooting until January 31. This, despite 20 per cent of badger cubs being born in January.

It will be some time before we hear the death toll of this year’s cull but, of particular concern, was the number of dead badgers found in fields without a mark on them. We suspect poisoning.

Also of great concern were the number of snares found during the cull. Disgracefully, free-running snares are not illegal in the UK although it is illegal to snare a badger. How we prove that a snare was set to catch a badger, however, is a difficult matter.

The first snare discovered had caught a badger cub and there were nine other dead badgers nearby in various states of decomposition. These, and the potential poisoning incidents, were reported to the police.

The Godfray report, commissioned by Michael Gove, was released on November 13.

Badger culling has only a modest affect on controlling bTB in cattle and that the real problem is cattle to cattle transmission.

The gist of the report would appear to confirm the findings of the Randomised Badger Cull Trial.

The report also suggests that vaccinating badgers would be a much cheaper and far better approach than culling.

Much as those of us who have opposed the cull have said all along.

Dorset Badger Vaccination Project