Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has defended the badger cull, saying it is necessary to use "every tool in the box" to tackle the spread of bovine TB.
We know that, despite the strict controls we already have in place, we won't get on top of this terrible disease until we start dealing with the infection in badgers as well as in cattle. That's the clear lesson from Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the USA.
That is why these pilot culls are so important. We have to use every tool in the box because TB is so difficult to eradicate and it is spreading rapidly.
If we had a workable vaccine we would use it. A badger vaccine would have no effect on the high proportion of sick badgers in TB hotspots who would continue to spread the disease.
We are working on new badger and cattle vaccines but they are years away from being ready and we cannot afford to wait while TB gets worse.
The badger cull is a "complete distraction" from the real problems in the farming industry, according to working farmer Steve Jones.
"From 50,000 diary farms in the 1980, we're down to ten-and-a-half today, and that is the real real problem in the industry," he told Daybreak.
The first pilot badger cull operations have begun in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset, the National Farmers' Union have said.
Campaigners against the cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire have said they are gearing up to protest against the "inhumane" measure.
Somerset Badger Patrol organised a candlelit vigil event in Minehead, Somerset against the planned cull.
Campaigners against the controversial badger cull in England are gathering in Gloucestershire, where one of the first pilot schemes could start as early as tonight.
Police are on standby for potential unrest, but so far this has been limited to one protester arrested after scaling a fence at a government site near Stroud.
ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn was there:
An anti badger cull activist, who was arrested after scaling a fence at a government site, has told ITV News that he was trying to gather photographic evidence.
Jay Tiernan, who runs the Stop The Cull campaign group, said he had heard reports of more than 200 "rusty cages" and "industrial sized fridges" being prepared to hold dead badgers.
Soon after, he was filmed scaling a barbed wire fence into the site before being arrested.
This video shows anti-badger cull protester Jay Tiernan being arrested by police at a site belonging to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in Gloucestershire.
Tiernan, who leads the activist group Stop The Cull, identified himself to ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn before climbing over the fence into the compound.
When three police cars and a helicopter arrived at the scene he tried to escape but was quickly arrested.
Activists from campaign group Stop The Cull now expect the pilot schemes to begin on Tuesday, according to their website.
Members of the group have reportedly gathered in Gloucestershire, where one of two badger cull pilot schemes is due to begin.
The group has formed a "wounded badger patrol" to help animals that have been shot at but not killed.
An anti-badger cull protester has been arrested after allegedly trying to break-in to a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs site in Gloucestershire.
A police helicopter and three police cars were involved in the arrest.
Tuberculosis can shut a farmer down "for many years" and "it really effects their business", a farming union told Daybreak.
Chairman of the National Farming Union, James Small gave a detailed description of what a farm could go through if one case of bovine TB is found, which he dubbed "really heartbreaking".