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Badger cull: Princess Anne calls for 'humane' gas death instead of shooting

As ministers abandon cruel massacre, Princess Royal holds forth on badgers and horse meat

Princess Anne called yesterday for badgers to be treated in a “much nicer” way — by gassing instead of shooting them.

Ms Mountbatten-Windsor claimed that it would be much more humane than pilot shooting culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

But experts said that it would be difficult to get gas levels high enough in badger setts.

“It’s tempting to think it might be easier to kill badgers when they’re basically a sitting target underground but it turns out from reports done in the 1970s that it’s not just that straightforward,” said Professor Rosie Woodroffe, who ran a landmark cull trial from 1998 to 2006.

Ministers this week abandoned plans for a national cull after an independent report said shoots were not effective or humane.

Prof Woodroffe also called for the end of the trial culls.

“The pilot culls performed so poorly in effectiveness and humaneness, I would stop and invest in something more promising,” she said.

Former horse-riding champion Ms Mountbatten-Windsor also suggested that poor horse owners should sell their animals for meat because it would add value to them, as well as hinting that Britons should get over their distaste for the animal.

“I think that it’s something that is worth looking at,” she said, noting that horse meat tastes “very good actually.”

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