How

This year’s cull will involve free shooting at bait points; see below for the drawings from the Defra shooting regulations. The bait points are to be more than 30 metres away from a sett. It is our understanding that they aim to shoot about 50 badgers a night in each of the cull zones, an organiser has told us that this will be done one at a time, not in groups as we imagined.
the licence to kill badgers can be read here
it clearly states:

“7. Natural England must be informed immediately, in writing, about any land that is withdrawn or
which otherwise ceases to be eligible to participate in licensed operations. No operations
authorised by this licence may commence unless at least 70% of land in the Control Area, as
defined in Annex A, is accessible for action to be taken under this licence.”

So if we can convince a couple of farmers to pull out, the cull will stop immediately.

Here are the shooting guidelines specific to this cull, with some extracts below:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13716-shooting-guidance.pdf

 

Page 1 states “operators must never feel rushed into taking a shot”.  We’re not sure if there will be groups of marksmen shooting a group of badgers; if there are groups then they will have to fire in unison so, inevitably, some of the shooters would have to be rushed in that situation.

 

Page 4 again encourages illegal activity “reduce badger densities (numbers per area) by at least 70%”.  This publication is from Defra so please ask them about it

 

and from Page 8:

Badger Figure 1

Figure 1: The circle shows the target site for a heart-lung shot from a broadside angle.

 

Badger Figure 2

Figure 2: Badger in walking posture. Even if the animal is only at a slight angle to the shooter the forelimb can obscure a large part of the target area making a lethal shot more difficult

 

35. Because of the slant of the shoulder blades, the elbow travels somewhat further backwards than in foxes and deer, and consequently when the fore-leg is in the vertical position, the heart/lung area will be temporarily obscured by a robust bony limb (Fig. 2). The heavy fringe of fur on the foreleg may further obscure the precise point of aim. The angle of the badger relative to the shooter will also alter the effective size and position of the target area on the surface of the animal. The further the animal is from a full broadside view the smaller the target area will appear and the less certain accurate shot placement becomes (see Fig. 2). Shots must only be taken when the animal is stationary, when the target area is clearly visible and the animal is more or less broadside on, so the shooter is confident of an accurate and humane shot.

36. The head of an otherwise stationary animal may be moving, or move without warning. An animal is likely to move its head if it becomes aware of potential danger, or as it checks its surroundings. Because of this, and the very small lethal target area, a head shot presents an unacceptable risk of wounding and must not be attempted. In addition, the neck is relatively long and the bony processes of the vertebrae are short, so the neck presents a target line only about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. The risk of non-fatal injury therefore makes a neck shot unacceptable in any circumstances.

 

 

You can find out more specifics of how the cull will work on this news article