Badger culling pilots: independent expert panel

Oversees the design and analysis of the data collection on the humaneness, effectiveness (in terms of badger removal) and safety of the two badger culling pilots.

Role of the group

The panel has been appointed specifically to look at the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of controlled shooting as a culling method.


The independent expert panel is responsible for:

  • making sure monitoring protocols are developed which are scientifically robust and policy-relevant.
  • advising on data collection and analysis
  • advising on the robustness of data collected and analysis conducted after a cull
  • recommending options for monitoring effectiveness and humaneness
  • considering public safety issues and recommending improvements to the licence criteria, training course content, or best practice guidance.

It is not the role of the panel to provide advice or to comment on the wider policy approach to tackling bovine TB in England, or on the case for badger culling as part of a comprehensive package of measures.

Terms of reference

Read the Terms of reference (PDF, 11.9 KB, 1 page)


Membership details (PDF, 13.1 KB, 1 page) of the panel.


Minutes of meetings

Twelfth meeting note: 10 December 2013 (PDF, 16.4 KB, 1 page)

Eleventh meeting note: 3 December 2013 (PDF, 17.2 KB, 1 page)

Meeting note: 6 November 2013 (PDF, 10.9 KB, 1 page)

Meeting note: 18 July 2013 (PDF, 11.9 KB, 1 page)

Older minutes are available on the National Archive website

Monitoring protocols

The Independent Expert Panel has overseen the development of protocols to monitor effectiveness and humaneness of controlled shooting. The summary protocols include:

Monitoring the effectiveness of badger population reduction by controlled shooting (PDF, 10.1 KB, 1 page)

Monitoring the humaneness of controlled shooting (PDF, 9.99 KB, 1 page)