An ex chairman of the group charged with examining the badgers culls overseen by Natural England, Professor Ranald Munroe posed a FoI question and received an answer which he then passed to the BBC' Pallab Ghosh.
The startling headline - [link] indicates the 'suffering' of a shot badger, which takes (the report says) 5 minutes to die.
No. Not a bit of it. The protocol written in the NE Bible which shooters on the culls have to follow to the letter, explains what happens after the shot is fired and crucially, the time allowed for this:
"After shooting a badger and in the belief of correct shot placement, regardless of first impressions (unless it is obviously still alive), an assessment needs to be made to confirm that it is dead. A final check for signs of life must be made within 5 minutes of the final shot to that animal and before the animal is bagged up."That "5 minutes" is in bold font too - it are not ours. But that is what Prof. Munroe has fixated on.
This is the protocol.
* After discharging his firearm, the shooter's banksman clicks a stopwatch.
* The shooter then watches the target for at least a minute to check for movement (through telescopic night sights)
* Then he dons his bio secure TB proof gloves and overalls, and makes his way across often difficult terrain, in the dark, to where the carcase lies.
* He then has a check list of what to look for, including tickling the eye's cornea with a stick, to assure himself the animals is really dead.
Only then can he give a thumbs up to his banksman, who stops the clock.
So the 5 minutes mentioned in bold, and thoroughly misrepresented, is not the time it takes a shot badger to die. It is the time is takes the shooter, jumping through all these hoops, to ascertain that death has occurred. And that is quite different.
The rest is mischief.