Somerset Badger Group Statement on Badger Cull Targets 2023

Since 2013, at least 210,558 badgers have already been killed (19,286 in Somerset) with many more shot, wounded and not retrieved.

The Government recently announced its 2023 cull targets (1) and Somerset Badger Group is deeply saddened to learn that a further 53,234 badgers (3,651 in Somerset) could potentially be killed, despite there being no empirical scientific evidence (2) that the cull is reducing the prevalence of Bovine TB (bTB) in cattle.

In the Government’s report ‘Natural England Chief Scientist’s advice on the outcome of badger control operations, 2022’ (3) it states ‘In Area 32-Cumbria, 2022 saw the first year where vaccination operations were carried out across the whole area by APHA wildlife experts. ‘We are confident that we are vaccinating a sufficient proportion of the population for vaccination to provide a protective effect and limit the transmission of TB’.

Somerset Badger Group also agrees that badger vaccination is effective and would urge the Government to stop culling and move to badger vaccination.

Bovine Tuberculosis is a devastating and complex disease, and the Somerset Badger Group recognises the hardship it causes to farmers and their families.

Until cattle vaccination is available, we are continuing to support farmers by offering badger vaccination as a humane and effective alternative to culling.

For further information on Badger Vaccination please contact Vanessa Mason at


1 Setting the minimum and maximum numbers in badger cull areas in 2023: advice to Natural England Published 7 September 2023:

2 Analysis of the impact of badger culling on bovine tuberculosis in cattle in the high-risk area of England, 2009–2020. T.E.S. Langton, M.W. Jones, I. McGill. Vet Record Published 18 March 2022

3 Natural England Chief Scientist’s advice on the outcome of badger control operations, 2022. Published 5 April 2023: