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  1. West Country (E)

The West Country at Westminster

Taking part in this month's show are Sarah Newton, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, the Liberal Democrat MP for Thornbury & Yate Steve Webb - who is also Minister of State for Pensions - and Anne Snelgrove, Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Swindon South. She held the seat until the 2010 General Election.

Up for discussion was the forthcoming Scottish Referendum, a split in the Tory party over Europe, and the Lib Dem's new initiative for free school meals for all children in state-funded schools aged 7 and under.


Farming minister outlines plans for culls

Farming minister outlines plans for culls Credit: PA

The pilot badger culls are set to start again in Somerset.

Farming minister George Eustice has 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.

Anti-cull campaigners begin patrols

Badger cull expected to resume tonight Credit: PA

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.

Anti-cull campaigners gathered last night expecting the badger cull to resume Credit: Somerset Against the Badger Cull

Vince Cable visits Newquay to promote new childcare policy

Vince Cable has visited Newquay to promote his party's new childcare policy Credit: ITV West Country

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has been in Newquay today to promote his party's new policy on childcare. The Lib Dems say if they're part of the next Government, all two year olds will be eligible for fifteen hours of free childcare a week.


West MP joins call for ban on animals in circuses

A West Country MP has joined calls for a ban on live animals in circuses.

MPs from the three main parties are backing a private member's bill being debated today to introduce such a ban. Adrian Sanders says a recent visit to Torbay by the Moscow State circus shows animals are not necessary.

Badger vaccination scheme won't cover the South West

The Government's announced a new scheme to vaccinate badgers - but it won't cover the West Country, or mean an end to the controversial culls.

Instead ministers say they'll fund vaccination schemes in central England, in an effort to stop the spread of bovine TB outside the South West. This is in addition to the culls in parts of Somerset, which are due to restart soon.

Michael Stephenson, Campaign Director for the League Against Cruel Sports, says this is a step in the right direction.

  1. West Country (E)

Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB

Vaccination scheme announced to prevent spread of bovine TB Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

A new vaccination scheme has been announced to contain the spread on TB in cattle.

The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) will largely target areas surrounding South West to stop the disease spreading.

Culling will continue in high-risk areas. Environment Secretary Liz Truss has released a statement announcing the plans as part of the Government's aim to make England bovine TB free by 2038.

Bovine TB continues to be a huge threat to our beef and dairy farmers, our economy and our food security, which is why we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to beat it. As part of this, I want to see vaccination groups come together, building on prior experience to deliver badger vaccination in the edge area. This could be an important part of our collective efforts, to prevent the spread of this terrible disease in cattle to new areas of the country.

– Farming Minister George Eustice

The map below shows the areas (in orange) that will be targeted by the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme.

Area that will be targeted by BEVS Credit: DEFRA
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