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Brian May to meet badger cull protesters

Brian May will meet anti-cull protesters in Gloucestershire later Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The singer Brian May, one of the leading opponents of the badger cull, is due to meet protesters in Gloucestershire later.

The trial cull, aimed at controlling the spread of TB in cattle, is underway in Somerset and is widely believed to have started in West Gloucestershire. Mr May will also meet people living near the cull zone to discuss their views on the operation.

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Minister defends Badger Cull

On the day that the badger cull is expected to get under way, the Environment Minister David Heath has justified the reasons for the controversial action.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak programme, Mr Heath, the MP for Somerton & Frome said he understands the protestors' concerns, but insists he wants to see both healthy badgers and healthy cattle in the future.

TB vaccines tested on Gloucestershire badgers

Farming minister David Heath has been visiting Gloucestershire to see badgers being vaccinated against TB. It is part of a five-year project by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory to test the vaccines. So far more than 2500 badgers have received he jab.

But Mr Heath said that while the vaccination programme is encouraging, it will not replace the cull, which is due to go ahead soon in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset.

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The badger cub that survived against the odds

Aspen was found on a road in Devon, cuddled up to his dead mother and siblings Credit: Secret World

Aspen is one of seven orphaned badger cubs being cared for at Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre at Highbridge in Somerset.

He is about eight weeks old and was brought in yesterday after being spotted lying beside his dead mother and siblings on a road in Devon.

Another cub was brought in last night - she was found on her own in the road in Cheddar. You can watch the young badgers playing on the charity's webcam.

They generate an awful lot of washing and the Centre is struggling to keep up. You can find out more about its work here.

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