Death of dating badger

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Mann says that the nightly protests were the key reason not as many badgers were culled as expected.

“The contractors were told if there was any chance of interaction with a protester, they had to withdraw.

Locals believe that the police were not nearly robust enough in protecting the farmers and allowing the cullers to go about their lawful business.

Dennis Goulding, 81, has run an arable and beef farm in Newent for 58 years.

The two cull pilot schemes were carried out by private contractors, funded by the farmers on whose land the project was undertaken.

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But he is not the only one to think that the attempt to shoot a few thousand nocturnal animals in the West Country will hardly be remembered as the Government’s finest hour.

Defra said that it needed to cull 70 per cent of the estimated 2,800 badgers in the Gloucestershire area to call it a success.

After the initial period, 30 per cent were culled, though a greater success rate was recorded in the Somerset pilot area.

The RSPCA, badger campaigners, scientists, the local police, and even many Conservative backbenchers believe that the failure of the project – part of a long-running battle to reduce bovine tuberculosis among the dairy and beef herds of Britain – has been symptomatic of Whitehall’s failure to understand science and, indeed, the ways of the countryside.

“It’s just anarchy out there,” says James Griffiths, 47, shaking his head.

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