- West Country (W)
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We interviewed Farming Minister and Somerset MP David Heath about the planned badger culls for West Somerset and West Gloucestershire. He hinted that they could take place elsewhere, but said it's up to the farmers.
A High Court hearing resumes today into whether the culling of badgers can take place in parts of the West Country. Lawyers for the conservation group, the Badger Trust, argue that the government has not followed the correct legal procedures.
Defra plans to allow farmers to shoot badgers in parts of West Somerset and Gloucestershire. The creatures have been linked to the spread of TB in cattle. The judge will give his ruling in a few weeks' time.
Jeff Hayden from Badger Trust, and their solicitor Gwendolene Morgan speak to our reporter outside the High Court in London:
A judicial review is underway at the High Court in London with the Badger Trust charity seeking to challenge the Government's decision to allow badger culling.
The first trials are due to take place in Gloucestershire and Somerset, and if successful would be rolled out across the rest of the country.
The cull is being proposed as a way of cutting down on the spread of tuberculosis (TB) from badgers to cattle.
Currently 25,000 cattle are being slaughtered every year after becoming infected with the disease, which it is believed is being passed on by badgers.
Opponents say that culling might actually increase the spread of TB by making members of a partly culled badger set roam in search of a new territory, spreading the disease even further.
They say vaccinating badgers could be a better answer.
A legal challenge against plans for a badger cull in West Somerset is due to be heard at the High Court.
The Badger Trust has won a judicial review into Government proposals to allow animals to be shot to prevent the spread of TB in cattle.
The pilot scheme was due to go ahead this summer but has been postponed pending the outcome of the court case.
Latest ITV News reports
A Government minister has hinted that the region's trial badger culls scheduled for later this year may NOT go ahead in the planned areas.
Controversial plans to cull badgers in West Somerset are being challenged in the High Court. The badger trust wants the decision overturned.