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Delayed badger cull pilot schemes may be moved to different areas

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

West Somerset and West Gloucestershire had been areas licensed by ministers to carry out culling of badgers

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The postponed badger cull could mean two pilot schemes are moved to alternative destinations, a Government minister has said.

West Somerset and West Gloucestershire had been areas licensed by ministers to carry out culling to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, which is spread by badgers and is rife in the South West.

The pilots, due to start last November, were delayed by a year, after the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) – which is organising the plan – said there were more badgers in the area than expected, leading to fears culls would be unsuccessful.

Farming Minister David Heath yesterday told ITV Westcountry the delay may lead to different areas being chosen instead. He said: “Whether that (the application to cull) will be in the same areas, it very possibly could be, or whether that will be in different areas, that will be for them (the NFU) to decide in due course.

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“We will wait to hear from the NFU and the farmers involved as to whether they want to stick to their original plans or want to change them – that’s their decision.”

The NFU has said all options remain open for potential sites, with a cull unlikely to take place until the autumn. It opens the possibility of marksmen being deployed to kill free-running badgers in Devon and Cornwall, where farmers have seen their herds devastated at the hands of the disease.

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  • Clued-Up  |  January 09 2013, 7:12PM

    "tuberculosis in cattle, which is spread by [cattle, deer, alpaca, llamas, sheep, human beings, pigs, cats, foxes, badgers etc and is endemic in the natural and farm environment but effectively controlled through rigorous management of cattle and cattle movement]". One of the more interesting questions is how come badgers got targeted as a species for destruction when killing off the WHOLE of the UK's badger population would have minimal impact on cattle bTB?

  • fischadler  |  January 04 2013, 10:33PM

    Cull moved to the Autumn now? Let's go one better and cancel the whole thing. Getting closer to the General Election. Doubt if the Tories will want to go into that with badgers blood on their hands.

  • Jude177  |  January 04 2013, 4:14PM

    All smoke and mirrors...the Government don't want to admit that bTB figures declining without a badger cull (slaughter) , the continuing success of the badger vaccination programme in Wales and now in England, the improvements as a result of new EU bTB cattle measures and thankfully an increased awareness in the farming community of the importance of improved animal welfare and husbandry and bio-security measures in raising immunity in cattle and early detection. Added to this the overwhelming public opposition to an unnecessary and counter-productive slaughter of our wildlife and impact on tourism plus policing costs...the omnishambles coalition and the hitleresque stance of messrs Pattison ("I'm in charge") and Heath just need an exit strategy and face-saving-here's one-YOU ARE WRONG and the cull won't go ahead-JudeW

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