Definition of cull in English:

cull

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter:

    ‘some of the culled deer will be used for scientific research’
    ‘kangaroo culling’
    • ‘Other wildlife veterinarians disagree, however, arguing that untreated disease and inbreeding have culled the reindeer population.’
    • ‘Simply for these numbers to stand still, 25-30 per cent of the population must be culled each year.’
    • ‘They may soon be looking for some sporting-types to cull their booming population of man-eating crocodiles.’
    • ‘More than 160,000 deer are culled each year because they damage crops and conservation areas through grazing or cause traffic accidents.’
    • ‘Since December, 800,000 birds have been culled in an effort to eradicate bird flu.’
    • ‘Discussion of the number of deer culled by the hunts I believe is academic.’
    • ‘Calls have been made to cull the geese, who have grown rapidly in population in the last few years on Bedford's Embankment.’
    • ‘And at times, the Game Department engaged in culling operations to reduce elephant populations in certain areas and relieve pressures on the habitat.’
    • ‘As medical science conquers diseases that used to cull the population, so more people are succumbing to one or another form of cancer.’
    • ‘The consequent delay in warning the public and taking measures such as culling chicken populations has probably been a factor in enabling the disease to spread.’
    • ‘Hunters selectively cull the does to make more forage available for the bucks.’
    • ‘Japan reported an outbreak in early January, isolating farms and culling birds.’
    • ‘The same applies to culling wild horses, which are doing incredible damage in some National Parks.’
    • ‘The hunt, which they help fund and support, maintains a pack of hounds which is uniquely good at tracking the few deer which the hunt's stalkers damage without killing when they cull deer.’
    • ‘We must stop herding and culling herds of human cattle, as policy.’
    • ‘Farmers are calling for drastic measure to cull the population explosion of rabbits.’
    • ‘Closed seasons themselves will not actually prevent a population decline unless culling levels are quite low even during the open season.’
    • ‘Deer surely have always been culled in Richmond Park one way or another.’
    • ‘The wolves were culled in order to allow moose populations in those areas to increase for hunting purposes.’
    • ‘This just proves it is an ineffective method of culling the fox population.’
    slaughter, kill, destroy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Send (an inferior or surplus farm animal) to be slaughtered:
      ‘unproductive animals can be identified and culled’
      • ‘However, 125 sheep were culled and removed from the farm in sealed containers.’
      • ‘Many pet pigs were culled during the Foot and Mouth epidemic - some quite needlessly in the contagious cull - and people were so heartbroken that they haven't replaced them.’
      • ‘The farmer would either cull the vulnerable calves or, if they are valuable for other reasons, treat them for parasites and then sell the meat in the nonorganic market.’
      • ‘Farmers in the Eastern Cape started culling their pigs earlier this week after the first sign of the disease two weeks ago.’
      • ‘Although there is no legal requirement to cull the cows, farmers have said it may not be profitable to keep them alive.’
      • ‘Cull any cow that is aggressive or difficult to control.’
      • ‘Five animals were culled after the initial test in January.’
      • ‘More than 1,500 animals on five neighbouring farms had been culled as a precaution by last night.’
      • ‘But his ministry says it does not have the funds to compensate poultry farmers whose birds are culled, or to perform the mass culls themselves.’
      • ‘Countryside dwellers are planning direct action protests should a North Yorkshire landfill site be used to bury foot and mouth culled cattle.’
      • ‘An entrenched battle exploded between conservationists and planners over whether to cull surplus animals for meat and hides, in addition to shearing them.’
      • ‘Cows were culled only on the basis of structural unsoundness and, infrequently, temperament until the fall of 1990.’
      • ‘In March 2001, during the foot-and-mouth crisis, 800 of his farm's sheep were culled after dangerous contact with infected animals, although there were no signs of the disease in the flock.’
      • ‘Currently around 140 cattle are culled each week, some of which are incinerated locally, the remainder shipped to mainland Scotland.’
      • ‘In June, he culled his older cows and sold them in pairs with their calves.’
      • ‘Armed police swooped on a farm following reports of gunfire - to find a farmer culling animals.’
      • ‘Furthermore, for every infected farm the animals on neighbouring farms were culled as a precautionary measure.’
      • ‘Close to 700,000 older milking and breeding cattle are culled from the national herd each year.’
      • ‘Infertility, regardless of cause, is a major reason for culling animals.’
      • ‘The 211 cattle and 1,000 sheep at Mount Pleasant Farm have been culled and the slaughter of livestock at two contiguous farms was continuing yesterday.’
  • 2Select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources:

    ‘anecdotes culled from Greek and Roman history’
    • ‘Around that heart is a lot of goofy bits culled together from almost every other romantic comedy ever made.’
    • ‘The list of thirty-eight downgraded or seriously questioned works has been culled from a wide variety of specialist publications.’
    • ‘The information is from my own notebook, and was culled from several sources.’
    • ‘In some cases, the songs were culled from television variety shows.’
    • ‘His paintings are intensely private visions culled from a variety of photographic and other source materials.’
    • ‘Often the anecdotes he has culled from various sources seen contradictory.’
    • ‘"For the English translation we further culled out 58 poems," he said.’
    • ‘The chapters the editors have culled together do not really address these criteria.’
    • ‘The images in the final work you see are carefully culled from hours and hours of footage.’
    • ‘That this work is not might be a result of the fact that it was culled from a variety of sources (including some radio sessions in New York), with some of the tracks dating back to 2001.’
    • ‘I asked participants to assess a single set of attributes culled from interviews with other organization members.’
    • ‘The rents for the year 1827-28 were culled mostly from notices in the Chester Chronicle.’
    • ‘Here, culled from a variety of management books, are fifty-five ideas on better managing your organization.’
    • ‘The piece mirrors a harmonious blend of contemporary fashion culled out of traditional art form.’
    • ‘These lists have been culled from a variety of critical essays and reviews.’
    • ‘Many of these sources were taken out of context or culled from secondary sources.’
    • ‘They have been culled from various sources, east and west.’
    • ‘I was disappointed when I saw the condition of the outfit I carefully culled out of the closet that morning.’
    • ‘The song list features a wide variety of material, culled from albums recorded throughout the band's entire career.’
    • ‘As it is, recipes are culled from the usual historical sources.’
    select, choose, pick, take, obtain, get, glean
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1archaic Pick (flowers or fruit):
      ‘fresh culled daffodils’
      • ‘But he could not have based all his multifarious descriptions on personal research, and like any other seeker after knowledge he borrowed other men's observations and culled other men's flowers.’
      • ‘Thus the brother, perusing the books of many saints like a clever bee, culled the flowers of divine quotations.’

noun

  • 1A selective slaughter of animals:

    ‘fishermen are to campaign for a seal cull’
    • ‘Last year there was an outcry when a cull of the birds was suggested.’
    • ‘He said that there were international guidelines that governed the selective cull of infected animals.’
    • ‘In Scotland, troops were last night overseeing a mass pre-emptive cull of apparently healthy sheep to halt the spread.’
    • ‘A mass cull is the only known method of ensuring the disease does not spread.’
    • ‘Suggestions include a partial cull, transferring the birds elsewhere - or stopping people from feeding them.’
    • ‘But the Conservatives argued the Government should be bringing forward specific plans for a badger cull immediately.’
    • ‘A mass cull is the only way to make sure that all these sheep are killed.’
    • ‘Culls have been carried out at all 381 farms.’
    • ‘Scientists have started work and one remedy suggested is a cull of the birds.’
    • ‘We do not support the idea of wasting beef from perfectly healthy animals through an extraordinary cattle cull.’
    • ‘An executive spokesman said there were no plans for a seal cull in Scottish waters.’
    • ‘The pre-emptive cull of healthy animals in Cumbria is not happening at the pace the government intended.’
    • ‘The hugely controversial contiguous cull of livestock to combat the foot-and-mouth epidemic was stoutly defended by the Government.’
    • ‘Unfortunately their upkeep is so expensive - £468,000 a year - that the council is carrying out a cull.’
    • ‘The cull of healthy animals was delayed last week as authorities dealt with the backlog of confirmed cases.’
    • ‘The contiguous cull led to the slaughter of millions of healthy animals four years ago.’
    • ‘A total of more than 9,500 sheep and cattle were involved in confirmed outbreaks and contiguous culls.’
    • ‘The proposed cull would be the first since a moratorium was declared in 1995.’
    • ‘The cull of sheep in the north was completed on Monday.’
    1. 1.1 An inferior or surplus livestock animal selected for culling:
      ‘he keeps his female calves and sells only male calves and herd culls’
      [as modifier] ‘a cull cow’
      • ‘The drop in cull cow prices was reflected across the board.’
      • ‘He said any increase in cull ewe numbers were being sold through the live export trade.’
      • ‘Cull cow prices showed a sharp increase.’
      • ‘They'll take all the cull ewes and rams we send them, and even pay a decent price.’
      • ‘Cows removed from the herd as reproductive culls were excluded also.’
      • ‘At the time of marketing, cull cows were individually weighed, and BCS was recorded.’
      • ‘The cull heifer prices used were for 1999, the cull cow for 2000, and the calf price for the first calf was for 2000.’
      • ‘Our beef calves and our cull sows are still sold on a conventional pricing system.’
      • ‘The development costs for all heifers were adjusted by the income from the sale of cull heifers.’
      • ‘However, the primiparous heifer that is open is likely to bring cull cow price or a price at least between the cull cow and an open yearling.’
      • ‘A total of 80 cull cows from four ranches were received at a commercial feedlot near Miles City, MI, in mid-November.’
      • ‘Cull cow prices have eased slightly this week.’
      • ‘One Teagasc survey showed that 20% of beef cattle and cull cows had inadequate levels of copper.’
      • ‘They are the vast majority of UK farmers who have not been ‘taken out’ in livestock culls; farmers who must find markets for their animals, even though they know they will be selling at a loss.’
      • ‘Sustainable cowherds require replacement of cull cows either internally via raised heifers or externally with purchased females.’
      • ‘The kill of heifers was up 3% at 431,901 head and cull cows were 4% higher at 335,008 head.’
      • ‘He hasn't sold a cull sow since February.’
      • ‘The old ' cull ewes' sold for as little as two pounds apiece.’
      • ‘Reduce stocking rate by selling yearlings or cull cows.’
      • ‘Feeding cull cows a feedlot diet for a period of time before selling may improve quality of animals and overall profitability.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French coillier, based on Latin colligere (see collect).

Pronunciation

cull

/kʌl/