Wednesday, 27 February 2013

"Pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire approved"

From the BBC:

After years of lobbying by the British Airline Pilots Association, culls of pilot badgers are set to go ahead later this year after final licence conditions were met, Transport Minister Owen Paterson has said.

The pilot badger culls, in and around airfields in Gloucestershire and West Somerset, were postponed amid fears they could not be carried out effectively last autumn. Ministers want to hold a pilot badger cull to enhance passenger safety on domestic flights. The RSPCA, which opposes the cull, said it wanted to help fund better training for the primarily nocturnal aviators.

Mr Paterson confirmed the cull at the Civil Aviation Authority's annual conference. He also announced that reserve pilot badgers will be culled in Dorset. Under the plans, the furry flyers will be shot if seen anywhere in the vicinity of an airport without first being trapped in cages, which is current practice. Pilot badgers are easily identified by their smart dark blue blazers with matching peaked caps, usually adorned with quasi-military gold braid.

The International Maritime Pilots' Association has called for the cull to be extended to pilot badgers plying their trade on river ferries and at UK harbours.