Badger population in the cull zones

The request was partially successful.

Cristina Parker

Dear Food and Environment Research Agency,

Please provide the evidence you have on badger populations in the cull zones, based on hair dna, when the hairs were removed. Also, in view of the very hard winter and evidence of 'do it yourself' badger killing taking place and the subsequent starving of cubs, how can you have any confidence in your numbers?

Yours faithfully,

Cristina Parker

Food and Environment Research Agency

Dear Cristina,

Thank you for your email of 18 May to the Food Environment Research Agency
(Fera) asking about the badger cull as part of the Government’s carefully
controlled package of measures to tackle bovine TB. I understand that Fera
are dealing with the first section of your email regarding DNA evidence.
The rest of your email has been passed to Defra for reply.

The badger numbers in the two pilot areas and the methodology for
estimating them have been published on the Defra website at:


This makes use of the best available data and provides a reliable estimate
of the population. The licences issued by Natural England specify the
minimum and maximum number of badgers that may be removed from the control
area each year. The number of badgers culled will be recorded by the
operators and be part of the licence returns to Natural England.

Yours sincerely,
TB Correspondence Team

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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Dear Ms Parker

Further to your request for information below, please see the attached reply from the Food and Environment Research Agency.

Yours sincerely

Fera Central Correspondence Unit

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