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    UK Government Considers Using Gas for Badger Extermination

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    The British government is trying to control the badger population in an effort to prevent outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis.

    The British government is trying to control the badger population in an effort to prevent outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis.

    In a trial area, hunters only managed to exterminate 60 percent of the badger population, falling 10 percent short of their original goal.

    About 5,000 of the badgers were supposed to be killed by a firm of marksmen hired by the government.

    The Department for Food and Rural Affairs are now looking into other methods of extermination, the most controversial of which is using gas.

    The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or RSPCA, is quoted as saying they are "opposed to the use of gas to control badgers on welfare grounds, and believes it is not humane as it may cause badgers to suffer prolonged deaths underground.”

    Local farmers have blamed badgers as the main cause for the spread of bovine TB among their livestock, but animal rights groups say there is no evidence to support these claims.

    The RSPCA does not believe that the extermination of badgers will lessen the spread of bovine TB.

    Using gas to kill the badgers was the predominant method of extermination before they changed to shooting them.