Vet support for the badger cull could be falling due to a lack of independent analysis.

Anti-cull campaigners claim the second year of the controversial cull failed to meet lowered targets.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) reiterated its support for the cull in July 2014, providing it would respond to calls for improvements to humanness and effectiveness.

However, BVA president John Blackwell has spoken out that the veterinary association’s support should not be taken for granted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

He said: “It is no secret some of our members are frustrated by the lack of independent analysis this year and we are disappointed it has not been put in place to give confidence to our members and the wider public.

“We have made it very clear to Defra our ongoing support should not be taken for granted and we will make our own assessment of the data when it is published.”

A report published by an independent expert panel found the first cull trials in Somerset and Gloucestershire to be both “ineffective and inhumane”.

Humane Society International UK’s Alastair MacMillan added: “Humane Society International UK has long been warning that the BVA’s public endorsement of the badger cull fails to reflect the misgivings of many veterinarians and, in fact, a significant number of vets do not share the BVA’s support for the cull at all.

“The BVA’s call for independent analysis of the cull has been ignored by Defra and it’s clear many vets within the BVA believe the organisation was wrong to support the second year of culling under those circumstances.”

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