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
Pioneering technology allowing 999 callers to stream live video footage to emergency crews is being developed by Midland firefighters.
More than 700 foreign crime suspects have been arrested after Birmingham became the centre of a Europe-wide police operation.
Cloud will thicken with some, mainly light, patchy rain possible through this afternoon and into tonight, with some clear spells.