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Dorset Wildlife Trust 'disappointed' by badger cull application

The Wildlife Conservation Charity has been carrying out a badger vaccination programme. Credit: Wild Stock

Dorset Wildlife Trust have expressed their disappointed about applications submitted to Natural England to cull badgers later this year.

They work to actively support and promote alternative solutions to badger culling in order to control the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis.

Now in its third year, the wildlife conservation charity has been carrying out a badger vaccination programme in West and North Dorset.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is extremely sympathetic to the farmers whose cattle are affected by this devastating disease, but we urge the Government to consider the scientific evidence which indicates that the cull will not reduce Bovine Tuberculosis in cattle.

The problem could even be made worse as increasing the movement of potentially infected badgers into an area cleared of badgers could risk contact between them and uninfected cattle.

– Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps

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Dorset badger cull application submitted to Natural England

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

An application to cull badgers in Dorset has been submitted to Natural England.

A number of farmers hope to obtain a licence to kill the animals, which are thought to infect cattle with Bovine TB.

Similar culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire proved controversial, and failed to meet their targets.

Earlier this week, volunteers in the county were given a grant by a wildlife charity to continue their programme of vaccinating badgers against the disease.

Anti-badger-cull charity awards money to vaccinating volunteers

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project is free to farmers. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Badgers will continue to be vaccinated against TB in Dorset, after volunteers were given a grant by a wildlife charity to carry on.

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project offers a free service to farmers and landowners. Last year they vaccinated more than 80 badgers across the county. The volunteers say they would not be able to continue their work after 2015 without the money from the International Fund For Animal Welfare.

The IFAW is "strongly opposed" to the government's badger cull, and sees vaccination as a humane alternative.

The volunteers say a growing number of farmers are approaching them about their services.

Does this record-breaking emoji put a smile on your face?

Emoji’s first known use was in 1997 but it joined the dictionary in May. Credit: Fanclub PR

Two gigantic smiley face emojis have cropped up in the fields of Bath and Chippenham overnight.

They're both part of a record-breaking campaign by a mobile phone company which they say wanted "to help the nation wake up with a smile on its face."

The advertising stunt involved a 100 foot happy face crop circle being made in a field and another painted by local artists near Bath station.

The first smiley face to appear was in a wheat and barley field near Chippenham.

The second involved a team of twenty-five artists who worked through the night to give commuters on train lines near Bath a smile this morning.

An emoji refers to any small images, symbols, or icons used when texting. Credit: Fanclub PR

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Warning as dangerous plant spreads across the West

This picture shows how big giant hogweed is - it doesn't reveal how dangerous it can be Credit: Richard H Shaw/CABI BIOSCIENCE

Giant hogweed is spreading throughout the region and has left several people with severe burns. In other parts of the country, children have received third degree burns.

10-year-old Lauren Fuller from Thornbury in South Gloucestershire was badly burned after sheltering from the rain under giant hogweed. She had just moved to Scotland when it happened.

I was out with my dad fishing, and it was raining and I was underneath a big bush. It didn’t burn straight away. I woke up in the morning and my hands were just pure red.

– Lauren Fuller

Medical advice is to wash immediately with soap and water and stay out of the sunlight - this seems to activate the sap in Britain's most dangerous plant.

Rare butterfly coming back to the West

The Heath Fritillary is one of the rarest butterflies in the country. Credit: Iain Leach

One of the UK's rarest butterflies is making a comeback thanks to a new site in Exmoor National Park.

The Heath Fritillary has multiplied in numbers, thanks to work by the Park Authority to create suitable coppice clearings in nearby areas

Hundreds of sheep stolen from farms in Somerset

Hundreds of sheep have been stolen in the last six weeks. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Nearly 500 sheep have been stolen from Somerset farms in the last six weeks in what police say is an "unusual" spike in sheep-rustling.

The thefts include nearly 150 lambs and ewes from near Langport in the middle of the night, nearly 130 from a farm near Baltonsborough and sheep's skins found blocking a land drain in Glastonbury.

Cows are also being targeted, with a cattle lorry from East Huntspill found burnt out in Langport, and cows stolen from a shed in Ilchester.

Farmers are losing tens of thousands of pounds from these thefts, and police say the meat of these animals could be sold illegally. They hope a nationwide appeal for information will help the investigation.

It’s sickening what these mindless thieves do. The sheep have probably suffered in transit and not been killed humanly either.

– Anonymous victim of sheep-rustling
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