HL Deb 31 January 1984 vol 447 cc645-6WA
Lord Houghton

of Sowerby asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many badgers have been trapped and killed since gassing was suspended; whether all badgers caught by trapping are destroyed or were released; and in what areas trapping activities are at present in progress.

Lord Belstead

Figures are not available in the form requested. However, from the time of the announcement, at the end of August 1982, that live trapping was to be adopted as the main method of badger control, some 1,700 badgers have been examined in connection with the official investigations of the agricultural departments. This figure includes not only those badgers live trapped by officials but also badgers found dead within the investigation areas.

All lactating females are released if caught in the period February to April. After the end of April females likely to have entirely dependent cubs are released. Otherwise, all trapped badgers are humanely killed and subjected to post-mortem and laboratory examination. Official investigations into the involvement of badgers in incidents of tuberculosis are currently being conducted in a number of areas of South-West England, and in small areas in South-West and North Wales, Staffordshire and Cumbria.