Thursday, 25 August 2016

New badger culling trials given go ahead across England

23 August 2016

Badger culls are to be carried out in five new areas of England in a bid to control bovine TB, the BBC has learnt.

Shooting of badgers will begin in early September in South Devon, North Devon, North Cornwall, West Dorset, and South Herefordshire, the BBC understands.

Culling is part of the government's 25-year-strategy to eradicate the disease, but opponents say there is no evidence culling is effective.

Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset are already practising culling.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) would not confirm the selections had been made but said it was "currently considering applications for further badger control licences as part of the usual licensing process".

However, the BBC understands that culling companies have already been selected, and marksmen trained for the new locations.

Tony Francis, a farmer who had TB in his herd near Okehampton in Devon, said he had signed up to one of the new cull zones to try to prevent the disease from returning.

'Take control'
"It's an issue which has been going on for decades," he said.

"No-one has really got on top of it. I think the agricultural industry feel we've got to try and take control of it."

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