16:57 28 February 2013
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said this week that plans to cull badgers in certain areas of England will be carried out. This relates to West Gloucestershire and West Somerset, as pilot schemes have been agreed to for these areas.
The news comes after the license conditions were adhered to, and so now badgers in these regions can be culled. The pilot plans are to be effective from the start of June, and will see the culling last for six weeks over a process of four years.
Reportedly, approximately 5,000 badgers are expected to be culled. The reason behind the move is linked to attempts to tackle tuberculosis, or TB, which can affect UK cattle.
Mr. Paterson said: “Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry.
Adding that: “I am determined that there are no further delays this year. That is why we have taken the sensible step with the farming industry to elect a reserve area that can be called upon should anything happen to prevent culling in Somerset or Gloucester.
“These pilot culls are just one part of our approach to control and eradicate this dreadful disease.”
When speaking at a National Farmers’ Union conference in Birmingham, Mr. Paterson said that TB had resulted in costs of hundreds of millions of pounds in the last ten years.
Thousands of individuals have opposed to the culling, with certain people campaigning against it on the grounds that killing the badgers will not cease TB being spread, according to reports.
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