Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today told farmers a badger cull would help prevent the spread of bovine TB:
"Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry.
"The authorisation letters issued today confirming culling can proceed this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is an important step towards taking the action we need to tackle the spread of this disease in wildlife."
More top news
An 82-year-old lollipop man has been left too scared to return to work after a "senseless" attack in which his lollipop stick was stolen.
Cold and windy with further scattered sleet and snow showers overnight, most of these falling in the north and west.
A cold and blustery night with rain, sleet and snow showers. These will be most frequent in the northwest with snow accumulations possible.