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Culling will probably be carried out in 21 areas of England this yr

Licences have been issued for badger culling in 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire.

Culling is a part of the federal government’s 25-year technique to eradicate bovine TB, however opponents say there is no such thing as a proof it’s efficient.

A badger vaccination programme to cease the unfold of TB is restarting.

The Badger Belief condemned the coverage as “politically motivated’ and an “insult to the nation’s intelligence”.

The brand new licences have been granted by Pure England.

It follows a decision to extend culling in areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The federal government mentioned it can launch a brand new advisory service for farmers in excessive threat areas this autumn advising them the best way to restrict the unfold of the illness.

Farming Minister George Eustice mentioned: “Bovine TB not solely has a devastating affect on our beef and dairy farms, however causes hurt and misery to contaminated cattle.

“Vaccination is only one a part of our complete technique, which additionally contains tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger management in areas the place bTB is rife, to sort out the reservoir of illness in wildlife.”

The federal government’s chief vet Nigel Gibbens mentioned: “Proactive badger management is at present one of the best obtainable possibility and the licensing of additional areas is critical to grasp disease-control advantages throughout the excessive threat space of England, moderately than at native ranges.”

Dominic Dyer, chief govt of the Badger Belief, mentioned 32,247 badgers may very well be killed underneath these new licences within the subsequent six weeks.

“The federal government is solely pandering to its core voters within the farming sector,” he mentioned.

“No credible scientist has ever urged that culling badgers will make any important affect on decreasing TB in cattle and there may be now clear proof the coverage is failing badly.

“The federal government is solely imposing its will in an act of political aggression towards each science and the desire of the individuals.”

The Division for Surroundings, Meals and Rural Affairs (Defra) mentioned that in 2016, operations in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Herefordshire and Wiltshire had been all profitable in assembly their targets for culling badgers.

In complete, culling will probably be carried out in 21 areas within the south-west, west and north-west of England this yr.