Badger Culling Pilots: Independent Expert Panel
An Independent Expert Panel will oversee 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.
Six panel members were appointed to join the chair, Professor Christopher Wathes in March 2012. The members were appointed for their expertise in animal welfare, veterinary pathology, badger ecology, wildlife population biology, statistics, marksmanship and the management of wild animal populations. Their biographies can be found below.
Professor Christopher Wathes has stood down as chair of the Independent Expert Panel for health reasons. He has been replaced by an existing member the Panel, Professor Ranald Munro.
Notes of the Panel meetings will be published on this page and the group will report to Ministers the findings of the pilots.
- Panel terms of reference (PDF)
The Independent Expert Panel has overseen the development of protocols to monitor effectiveness and humaneness of controlled shooting. The summary protocols may be found below.
- Monitoring the humaneness of controlled shooting (PDF)
- Monitoring the effectiveness of badger population reduction by controlled shooting (PDF)
Biographies of the chair and panel members
Professor Ranald Munro (chair)
Ranald Munro is the former Head of Pathology at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, and former president of the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA). He is currently Honorary Professor of Forensic Veterinary Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College, and an Honorary Fellow at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, where he specialises in forensic pathology in free-living species, companion animals and farmed livestock.
Professor Neville Gregory
Neville Gregory is the former Professor of Animal Welfare Physiology at the Royal Veterinary College. His research interests include the suffering associated with clinical diseases and disorders, and with routine methods used in managing livestock and wildlife. In addition, he has practical experience and knowledge of shooting in the field.
Professor Piran White
Piran White holds a Personal Chair and is Deputy Head of Environment Department at York University. He is an ecologist whose research interests focus on wildlife ecology, management and disease; and biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services.
Professor Timothy Roper
Timothy Roper is Emeritus Professor at the University of Sussex and an expert in badger behaviour. Professor Roper currently sits on the Epidemiology & Wildlife Risks Programme Advisory Group, which is a subgroup of Defra’s bovine TB Science Advisory Body.
Peter Watson is Executive Director of the Deer Initiative and a non-executive Director of Deer Management Qualifications. He was formerly a military engineer and is now a trained ecologist with extensive practical experience in wildlife management and related training.
Professor Tim Coulson
Tim Coulson is a Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford. He is a quantitative biologist with research interests in statistics and the development and testing of ecological theory. Much of his recent work has focused on the demography of wild animal populations.
- 15 January 2013: Meeting note of 7th meeting
- 29 November 2012: Meeting note of 6th meeting
- 04 September 2012: Meeting note of 5th meeting
- 19 June 2012: Meeting note of 4th meeting
- 01 May 2012: Meeting note of 3rd meeting
- 29 March 2012: Meeting note of 2nd meeting
- 06 March 2012: Meeting note of 1st meeting
13 March 2013
- 15 January 2013 Independent expert panel meeting notes (pdf, 17 KB)
- 29 November 2012 Independent expert panel meeting notes (pdf, 16 KB)
7 March 2013
- Monitoring the effectiveness of badger population reduction by controlled shooting (pdf, 10 KB)
- Monitoring the humaneness of controlled shooting (pdf, 10 KB)
6 February 2013
- 4 September 2012 Independent Expert Panel meeting note (pdf, 17 KB)
- 19 June 2012 Independent Expert Panel meeting note (pdf, 17 KB)
- 1 May 2012 Independent Expert Panel meeting note (pdf, 18 KB)
- 29 March 2012 Independent Expert Panel meeting note (pdf, 17 KB)
- 6 March 2012 Independent Expert Panel meeting note (pdf, 21 KB)
23 October 2012
- Panel terms of reference (pdf, 11 KB)