Badger culling to be rolled out in 11 new areas across England
Badger culling will be rolled out in 11 new parts of England after ministers gave the green light to expanding a crackdown on the spread of tuberculosis in cattle.
The Government has issued new licences for culling to cover parts of Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire.
It has also given permission for more culling to take place in areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset which have already completed four years of pilot culls.
The announcement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has sparked fury among animal rights campaigners who said the decision to expand the cull was “flying in the face of science”.
The Government argues the culls are necessary to curb TB in cattle as badgers can transmit the disease to livestock, but opponents say it is inhumane and ineffective.
Ministers have also set out their intention to restart a badger vaccination programme in a bid to stop bovine TB from spreading to new areas.
George Eustice, the Farming Minister, said: “Bovine TB not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but causes harm and distress to infected cattle.
“We have a clear plan to eradicate the disease over the next 20 years and this year we are restarting the government-backed Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme to stop the disease spreading to new areas.