Over 10,000 Badgers have been killed by the UK government this year, offical documents show.
The government has admitted tonight that almost three times as many badgers have been killed this year, than in the past three years. The badger cull has lasted over three years now.
The larger number of badgers killed this year, is partly due to the cull be extended to Southern England.
The cull figures show that the badgers have been killed in two main ways. One way was that marksmen killed them by shooting the badgers on the spot. Another way was that they trapped the badgers in cages - though what was actually done to the badgers from this point on is not made clear. In total, around half of the badgers were killed by marksmen shooting them on the spot, while half were killed by being trapped in cages.
The total number of badgers killed in this years cull is 10,886. The total numbers of badgers killed during the last three years has been 14,802. Which means the vast majority of badgers have been killed this year.
However, there is also a number of badgers which have been shot, but were not killed. The government has said that 34 badgers escaped - probably meaning that these badgers died a slow and painful death.
However, this might be a conservative figure. As the government has said that they lost track of the amount of badgers which ran away - meaning that there is likely to have been a lot more.
The badger cull has been highly controversial. Both animal rights campaigners and conservationists have criticized the cull.
The criticisim has been directed towards the government because there is no scientific evidence to show that badgers are the main source of TB. Which means that the cull is pointless, and cruel.
Instead, the disease is most likely caused by poor farming methods. And better farming practices and care could eradicate the disease.
The government has hinted that the badger cull will continue next year.