The pilot badger culls are set to start again in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
Farming minister George Eustice outlined the plans for the culls, which are expected to begin as early as tonight. To fulfil the licensing criteria, marksmen will have to cull at least 615 badgers in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset to reach the estimated target of removing 70% of the badger population.
People fighting the resumption of the badger cull began patrolling last night in West Somerset because they believe the cull is imminent.
There was no sign of culling activity, but reports are growing that the cull is due to begin tonight.
The badger cull is due to start shortly in Gloucestershire and the county's Assistant Chief Constable says public safety is a priority.Read the full story ›
An announcement is expected to be made about this year's badger culls.
New Environment Secretary Liz Truss is due to make a written statement today about the resumption of culls in Gloucestershire and West Somerset.
The High Court has rejected an 11th-hour challenge to a Government decision to let the latest badger cull go ahead without monitoring by a panel of independent experts.
The Badger Trust wanted a ruling to block "controlled shooting" of free-roaming badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset unless a panel is put in place.
But Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, sitting in London, today dismissed the application for judicial review.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is testing whether the shooting method can be rolled out to other parts of the country to tackle tuberculosis in cattle.
Last year an independent expert panel (IEP) said in a report on the first year of the four-year pilot schemes that controlled shooting could not deliver the level of culling needed to bring about a reduction in bovine TB and was not humane.
Campaigners have gathered outside the High Court in London today for another hearing about the Government's badger cull.
The Badger Trust is seeking a ruling that there has been a failure to install an independent panel of experts to monitor this year's pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset. The culls are taking place to try to stop the spread of TB in cattle.
The UK's Chief Vet has said something has to be done about bovine TB after the government affirmed its commitment to badger culling today.
Badger culls will go ahead as planned this autumn in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Nigel Gibbens says culling could be the right thing to do if done right:
As the Governments affirms its commitment to badger culling, Duncan Sleightholme went to meet one farmer who's been battling with TB.Read the full story ›
Badger culls will go ahead as planned this autumn in Somerset and Gloucestershire as the Government affirms its committment to tackling the spread of TB in cattle. It says it can improve on last year's pilot culls whihc failed to meet targets.
Plans being considerd include increasing assessments on farm security to prevent badgers mixing with cattle and accessing feed, plus making it mandatory for all farmers to disclose their TB history to buyers.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has lost his job in David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.
The Conservative minister came under intense pressure, following his handling of the flooding on the Somerset levels, and also received criticism for the horsemeat scandal andthe unsuccessful badger culls.