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Dept of Agriculture orders 25,000 badger body bags
15 October 2014

The Department of Agriculture has ordered 25,000 body bags for badgers as its cruel snaring and culling continues across the country. Department officials confirmed that a cull of 6,000 badgers is planned over the next 12 months. This latest assualt on a supposedly protected species is part of a failed TB-eradication scheme which has to-date claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 badgers.

"Culling is expected to continue for several years," an Irish Independent report outlines, referring to a Department advert in which it tenders for the supply of 25,000 units of 'Packaging Solution for Biological Material'.

This is a Department of Agriculture euphemism for badger body bags, used for collection, dispatch and post-mortem examination of badgers that have been caught in snares and shot in the head.

In a Dail question to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney on 23rd September, ICABS President Maureen O'Sullivan TD condemned the cruel cull.

"We are talking about a most inhumane, cruel and barbaric way of dealing with bovine TB, when first, it has not been fully proven that the badger is totally responsible for the disease, and there are doubts over some of the experiments that initially proved that was the case. Second, a reduction in TB in cattle can also be linked to improved husbandry and other factors, not especially through the badger cull. Could the Minister explain the urgency to kill thousands of an ecologically important species, namely, the badger?" she stated.

She asked why "a badger cull is being pursued and why the Department has tendered for 25,000 units of biological material, essentially body bags for badgers, when it has given a commitment to roll out a vaccination programme to control bovine TB".

Read her question and the response at

A Department of Agriculture snare awaits its next victim and right, a dead badger in a department snare.

In August, Minister Coveney claimed that his Department's cruel badger snaring operation is "humane" and "does not involve snares", statements branded outrageous and unbelievable.

In a video posted on Youtube, Minister Coveney tells viewers: "What we are continuing to do is have a humane and targeted cull of badgers which does not involve snares or anything like that. It involves trapping and catching badgers and putting them down in as humane a way as we can."

Minister Coveney's version is far removed from the ugly reality. Since 1984, an estimated 100,000 badgers have suffered "excruciating pain" in Department of Agriculture before being later shot in the head. The assault on this supposedly protected species takes place under licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Bernie Barrett of Badger Watch Ireland describes what happens: "The method of capture is a barbaric wire snare which holds the helpless badger in excruciating pain until it is dispatched by gunshot. Thatís provided the animal has not agonisingly strangled itself beforehand. When nursing female badgers are snared and shot, their cubs are left to starve to death underground."

According to the Irish Wildlife Trust, 6,000 Department of Agriculture snares are set in Ireland every night and there are fears that the species is now endangered. The IWT is opposed to the badger cull and states on its website: "Badgers can die over extended periods struggling in these hideous devices while their young starve underground. Not only is it barbaric and unethical, recent findings have shown it to be ineffective in the war on bovine TB. Nobody has ever counted badgers accurately in this country and while it has always been assumed that they are common animals, this can no longer be taken for granted."

Watch a video of an Irish badger being rescued from a cruel Department of Agriculture snare


Demand an end to the cruel snaring and killing of badgers.
Visit our Campaign Page now.

Sign our petition
Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Tell Simon Coveney to stop the cruel snaring of badgers.

Minister Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Please write to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Remind them that the Wildlife Act, for which they are responsible, lists the badger as a protected species. Demand that they stop licensing the snaring and killing of thousands of badgers as part of a cruel and discredited TB eradication scheme.

Minister Heather Humphreys
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 631 3800

Director, Licensing Unit
National Parks and Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: 01-888 3214

Slideshows: Badger snaring cruelty

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