THOUSANDS OF badgers are to be killed in England in an attempt to significantly reduce TB in cattle herds in Gloucestershire. The cull – the shooting and trapping of the badgers – could last for four years and eliminate 100,000.
Culling, which is fiercely opposed by animal rights campaigners, could begin in three weeks, once farmers prove they can pay for it.
A second licence will be issued to farmers in Somerset and both will be independently monitored. If the six-week culls are found to be “‘effective and humane” they will continue for up to four years and up to 10 licences a year will be awarded.
Up to 70 per cent of the badger population will be killed in each of the districts, though maximum limits will be set “to prevent the risk of local extinction”, Natural England, the British government’s advisory body, said yesterday.