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Badger cull under discussion at Labour party conference

Badger culling will be under discussion in Manchester today Credit: PA

The controversial badger culls, which have now resumed in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, are being discussed at the Labour party conference today.

The fringe event has been organised by three animal welfare groups. The speakers include a member of the independent monitoring panel which assessed last year's cull. The Badger Trust claims a leaked report shows that records of the number of badgers killed, were falsified.

Brian May to visit Somerset to protest against badger cull

Brian May will visit Somerset today Credit: ITV News

One of leading opponents of the badger cull is in Somerset today.

Brian May has campaigned extensively against the cull and he'll be visiting Camp Badger, which has been set up by anti-cull protestors near Williton in Somerset. West Somerset is one of the locations for the cull.

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Brian May visits Gloucestershire to protest against badger culls

Brian May visits Gloucestershire Credit: Tim Ireland/PA

Brian May is visiting Gloucestershire today to protest against the pilot badger culls.

The Queen guitarist - who has long spoken out against the culls - will also travel to Somerset tomorrow to meet with protesters there.

Protesters try to disrupt badger cull

Marksmen were out in Somerset and Gloucestershire last night as the second badger cull got underway. The government confirmed shooting has started as part of its controversial attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

This year targets have been lowered to 316 badgers in Somerset, and 615 in Gloucestershire. Overall the aim is for a reduction of 70 per cent in badger populations over the successive culls.

Protesters were also out in both counties trying to disrupt the cull.

Labour MP says Government should listen to the evidence

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary Credit: PA

Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary has spoken out against the Government's decision to resume culling in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

She says the Government should listen to the scientific evidence and put an end to what she calls 'disastrous badger culls'.

Last year an Independent Expert Panel concluded that these badger culls were ‘ineffective’ and ‘inhumane’, and more recently they have been described as an ‘epic failure’ by the Chief Scientific Advisor to Natural England. But instead of abandoning these appalling culls the Government have chosen to press ahead without any further independent expert monitoring.

Labour has consistently said that to get Bovine TB under control we need to bring in stricter cattle measures and prioritise badger and cattle vaccinations, but these culls are not the answer.

– Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary
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