Kerry has high rate of badger culling

By BadgerHero - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Kerry has one of the highest rates in the country of badger culling.

Figures revealed by the Minister for Agriculture, show 303 badgers were captured by the Kerry regional veterinary office last year.

So far this year, 70 badgers have been culled in South Kerry die to a TB outbreak in cattle.

These figures from the National Parks and Wildlife Service show 5,811 badgers were culled nationally last year, 303 of those were in Kerry, the fifth highest number in the country.

In 2016, 288 badgers were culled in Kerry – the seventh highest figure in Ireland, and in 2015 Kerry had the fifth highest total of culled badgers at 312.

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, in responding to a question from Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill, said the long-term culling of badgers isn’t ideal or sustainable, as they’re protected by national legislation.

He said trials testing the effectiveness of badger vaccination and release, as an alternative to culling, began in January in a number of counties, not including Kerry.

The vaccination area will be expanded to all parts of the country by 2022, but the Minister says culling may still continue in areas with severe TB outbreaks linked to badgers.