§ Mr. Gale
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of cubs born which would be saved as the result of the imposition of a six-month closed season for the culling of badgers; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the proportion of cubs born which will be preserved by the introduction of a three-month closed season for the culling of badgers; 
(3) what assessment his Department has made of information relating to the effects upon welfare of the imposition of a six-month closed season for the culling of badgers; and if he will list the sources of such data; 
(4) what factors underlay his statement that a three-month closed season for culling badgers would meet the major welfare concerns about dependent cubs; 
(5) if he will list the experts he has consulted prior to determining the proposed closed season for badger culling. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The Krebs report recommended that lactating female badgers should be culled throughout the year. Ministers asked Professor Bourne's group to re-examine this recommendation, taking account of comments received on the Krebs report, many of which expressed concern, and views expressed during meetings with a variety of individuals and organisations. The group concluded that badger welfare would be enhanced by a closed season, but that culling would not be a practicable policy option if that season lasted longer than three months. The three months from February to April were selected because, over a period of years, they would offer protection to a greater proportion of dependent cubs than any other three month period, but no estimate has been or can be made of the numbers affected.
§ Mr. Rooker
Although there is no provision for a closed season under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, the Ministry takes the badger breeding season into account when determining licence applications.