In 2005, the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) determined that gassing "cannot be reliably expected to kill all the animals in a complex burrow system," but, in October, UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced that gassing was being reconsidered anyway. Additionally, after studies found the cull to be ineffective earlier this year, Paterson said it would continue anyway. Animal welfare advocates are outraged over both the decision and the unveiling of the secret tests.
"Gassing has already been shown by research to not be humane," said veterinarian Mark Jones, executive director of Humane Society International/UK. "We need DEFRA to come clean on why it is spending that public money on research into badger culling methods which have already been shown to be indiscriminate, inhumane and ineffective, and are in any event prohibited under international agreements."