Farmers to be offered £50 a kill as badger cull is rolled out across most of England
Farmers will be allowed to kill badgers across England after an expansion of the culling program, which previously only allowed the animals to be killed in areas deemed to be at high risk of bovine TB.
Shooters are rewarded with a payment of up to £50 for each kill as part of the scheme, which has seen new guidance published that permits the killing of badgers in areas where cows are believed to be at a low risk of contracting bovine TB.
Bovine TB is thought to be spread by badgers and culling trials were introduced in the UK as a way of controlling the disease in 2013.
The trials were expanded to a larger area in 2016 and 2017.
Currently, badger culling is permitted in 21 areas of England where the disease is common.
The expansion means that culling will be permitted across most of the country, wherever there is an outbreak of bovine TB.
Implementation of the expansion could take place this autumn if applications for badger control licenses are approved by the Defra executive agency and culling licensee Natural England.
Decisions to allow badger culling in areas that are deemed low risk will be taken by ministers under a case-by-case basis, according to the plan.