17 Smith Square
T: 03459 33 55 77
Ms Elizabeth Thirsk
Our ref: EIR2021/12066
By email: email@example.com
18 May 2021
Dear Ms Thirsk, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: Badger Cull Zones
Thank you for your request for information of 3 May 2021 about badger cull zones. We
have handled your request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs).
The EIRs apply to requests for environmental information, which is a broad category of
information defined in regulation 2 of the EIRs. Public authorities are required to handle
requests for environmental information under the EIRs. They give similar access rights to
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
Your information request and our response are set out below.
I require OS Maps outlining the boundaries of all cull zones in the 2020 badger cull and the
same for all new proposed cull zones for 2021.
We are writing to inform you that Defra does not hold the information you have requested.
Also, due to the risk to public safety, culling boundaries are not published. The exception
at regulation 12(4)(a) of the EIRs, which relates to information which is not held at the time
when an applicant's request is received, therefore applies to the information you have
Regulation 12(4)(a) is a qualified exception, which usually means that a public authority is
required to conduct a public interest test to determine whether or not information should be
disclosed or withheld. However, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who is the
independent regulator for requests made under the EIRs, takes the view that a public
interest test in cases where the information is not held would serve no useful purpose.
Therefore, in line with the ICO's view, Defra has not conducted a public interest test in this
However, under our duty to advise and assist applicants in pursuance of regulation 9 you
may wish to be aware that information on the counties for which badger control licence
applications or expressions of interest were submitted, was made available on a county
level via the opportunity to comment exercises undertaken by Natural England routinely.
The latest of these can be found on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/bovine-tb-comment-on-an-application-for-a-
We can also confirm that to the best of our knowledge the maps outlining the boundaries
of all cull zones are held by Natural England who can be contacted here: firstname.lastname@example.org
We attach an annex giving contact details should you be unhappy with the service you
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact the address below.
Yours sincerely Mark Shotton
Information Rights Team
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request you may
make a complaint or appeal against our decision under section 17(7) of the FOIA or under
regulation 11 of the EIRs, as applicable, within 40 working days of the date of this letter.
Please write to Andrew Mobsby, Head of Information Rights via email at email@example.com
and he will arrange for an internal review of your case.
Details of Defra’s complaints procedure are on our website.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, section 50 of the FOIA and
regulation 18 of the EIRs gives you the right to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Please note that generally the ICO cannot
make a decision unless you have first exhausted Defra’s own complaints procedure.
The ICO’s offices are currently closed so please visit their website on how to contact them
during this period, here:
Additionally, if you wish to make a complaint to the ICO please use the following link: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/official-information-concerns-report/official-information-