11 new badger cull licences granted in England

Natural England has announced approval for 11 new badger cull licences in its latest review of badger culling in England.

The newly published licences are for areas that will undertake badger control operations within the High Risk and Edge areas of England this autumn.

Reauthorisation has been granted for licences for 29 existing areas as well as licences for a further 11 new areas.

The new areas to be granted licences include parts of Avon, Cheshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and Wiltshire.

A spokesman explained the decision was “a continuation of the long-term strategy to tackle the animal disease Bovine TB which was published in April 2014”.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Bovine TB remains the greatest animal health threat to the UK, costing taxpayers over £100 million every year as well as causing devastation and distress for hard-working farmers and rural communities.

“There is no single measure that will provide an answer to beating this disease. That is why we have always been committed to a multi-pronged approach including proactive badger control as well as other tools such as tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger vaccination.

“Our strategy in combatting the disease now has an opportunity to look at different methods as part of our response to the Godfray Review. We will fully respond to this review in the near future.”

All applications received were carefully assessed by Natural England to ensure that each cull company has suitable arrangements and plans in place to carry out an operation that is safe, effective and humane.