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  1. West Country (E)

Secret World founder says the cull is "just slaughter"

Pauline Kidner, who founded the wildlife rescue charity Secret World, says the badger cull should be stopped after a dead badger was handed in to the centre in Somerset with bullet wounds to the abdomen.

Ms Kidner claims this proves that the cull marksmen failed to kill the animal humanely.

  1. West Country (E)

NFU statement on badger death claims

The National Farmers Union has responded to claims that a dead badger in Somerset suffered an unnecessarily lingering death because it had been shot in the abdomen and left to die.

“We have seen no evidence that a badger has been found. If one has been found there is no evidence to suggest it is associated with the cull. All badgers shot as part of the cull have been collected and accounted for. Humaneness monitors are also going out with contractors.”

– NFU statement

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  1. West Country (E)

Humane Society comments on badger cull claims

The Humane Society's executive director and veterinarian, Mark Jones, has voiced his concern over claims that a female badger who had been shot in the abdomen in Somerset will have taken a considerable time to die.

Earlier today pictures were released by the wildlife charity Secret World claiming that "Badger 41" had been shot in the abdomen and left to die.

Badger 41 may have taken "a considerable amount of time to die" Credit: Secret World

“The discovery of badger 41 confirms our worst fears about the horrendous animal suffering the so-called trained badger cull marksmen will be inflicting. Shooting badgers in the abdomen will likely result in those animals taking a considerable time to die. DEFRA’s assurances that steps have been taken to ensure this year’s culls would be humane have been shown to be meaningless. Badger 41’s death was almost certainly not humane; how many more like her are suffering the same fate?

– Mark Jones, Executive Director at Humane Society International/UK,
  1. West Country (E)

Badger cull is inhumane claims Somerset charity

Somerset wildlife charity Secret World claims it has evidence that badgers are being shot inhumanely as the cull continues in the county.

They have produced pictures of a female badger which they claim shows it was shot through the abdomen rather than the chest in contravention of DEFRA guidelines. There was no evidence of a second shot and they say the badger will have suffered a lingering death.

The female badger handed in to Secret World Credit: Secret World

Notably there was no evidence of a second follow up shot or of evidence that the cull contractors had observed the badger after shooting it for signs of life, both these are requirements under the Defra culling licences. It is intended that a detailed post mortem will be carried out and that the findings will be made available.

– Secret World statement
Secret World claims the badger was shot through the abdomen Credit: Secret World

Plans to close residential homes in Devon on hold

Plans to close Council-run residential homes in Devon are on hold because of a legal challenge.

The County Council says it's been asked by the Court to temporarily suspend the closure programme until this challenge has been resolved. It's submitted an appeal against this decision which will be heard as soon as possible.

We are pausing all resident assessments and staff notice meetings pending further legal advice and will continue to provide appropriate care to all residents living in our homes.

– Devon County Council

Cornwall Council wants more devolved powers

Cornwall Council is preparing a case to be given greater powers to raise and spend its own money. It says that, regardless of the outcome of the Scottish referendum, the Government should give the county more freedom to manage its own affairs.

The authority is developing a strategy document outlining its plans for more local control.

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More powers for Cornwall?

A number of Cornish people are waving the flag for more powers for the Duchy Credit: ITV News West Country

Cornwall Council is preparing a case to be given greater powers to raise and spend its own money.

It says that, regardless of the outcome of the Scottish referendum, the Government should give the county more freedom to manage its own affairs.

The authority is developing a stategy document outlining its plans for more local control.

Brian May to visit "Camp Badger" in Somerset

Queen guitarist Brian May during a Wounded Badger Patrol in 2013 Credit: PA

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

Queen guitarist Brian May has campaigned extensively against the cull and he'll be visiting Camp Badger, which has been set up by anti-cull protesters near Williton in Somerset.

West Somerset is one of the locations for the trial cull, with West Gloucestershire, which he visited yesterday.

Mebyon Kernow call for more Cornish powers

There are growing calls tonight for Cornwall to be given more powers- with its own elected assembly. It comes as the people of Scotland prepare to decide on whether to break away from the United Kingdom in next week's referendum.

Councillor Dick Cole from Mebyon Kernow tells us why his party has long campaigned for more powers:

Andrew George MP: 'Cornwall is already recognised as a distinct region'

Children wave the Cornish flag alongside the Union flag on a visit from Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

A Cornish MP is calling for Cornwall to be next in line for devolved powers.

Andrew George says the strength of support for a devolved Scotland shows Cornwall has a case to determine its own future too.

It comes as the 'yes' campaign for Scottish independence gathers pace.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband are all in Scotland today urging voters to say no to an independent Scotland.

If Scotland and Wales can be offered further powers then Cornwall must be next in line. After all, Cornwall is already recognised as a distinct region for economic development purposes, as a separate people and for its distinct language.

– Andrew George MP
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