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NFU pleased with badger cull

NFU pleased with badger cull Credit: PA

The six week badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset officially ends today. It's the second year that badgers have been shot to try to stop them spreading TB to cattle. Last year the cull was extended because not enough animals had been killed. Protesters say it's been a failure again this year, but the National Farmer's Union disagree.

I think generally we are pretty pleased with how it has gone. In large parts of the area we are seeing very few badgers left on the ground now. Unfortunately there are one or two areas where we haven't been able to be as effective as we'd like to because of the actions of protesters but largely we are very happy with it.

– Andrew Guest, National Farmers' Union

9 in 10 against badger cull, according to new poll

One alternative to culling is badger vaccination

Results from a poll on the recently trialled badger cull suggests that 9 out of 10 people in the UK are against the practice.

The trial cull in Somerset officially ended today. Of the 2000 polled, only 3 in 4 were aware of the cull. They were then given information about the UK trial, and the Welsh government’s success in cutting bovine TB through vaccination rather than culling.

The final poll then showed that 89% said that they wanted the government to stop culling badgers, and instead to follow the Welsh example.

The poll was carried out by ComRes, and was commissioned by Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust.

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Badger cull under discussion at Labour party conference

The controversial badger culls will be discussed in Manchester Credit: ITV News

The controversial badger culls, which have now resumed in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, are being discussed at the Labour party conference today.

The fringe event has been organised by three animal welfare groups. The speakers include a member of the independent monitoring panel which assessed last year's cull. The Badger Trust claims a leaked report shows that records of the number of badgers killed, were falsified.

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.

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Brian May to visit Somerset to protest against badger cull

Brian May will visit Somerset today Credit: ITV News

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

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

West Somerset is one of the locations for the cull.

Protesters try to disrupt badger cull

Marksmen were out in Somerset last night as the second badger cull got underway. The government confirmed shooting has started as part of its controversial attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

This year targets have been lowered to 316 badgers in Somerset. Overall the aim is for a reduction of 70 per cent in badger populations over the successive culls.

Protesters were also out trying to disrupt the cull.

Labour MP says Government should listen to the evidence

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary Credit: PA

Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary has spoken out against the Government's decision to resume culling in Somerset.

She says the Government should listen to the scientific evidence and put an end to what she calls 'disastrous badger culls'.

Last year an Independent Expert Panel concluded that these badger culls were ‘ineffective’ and ‘inhumane’, and more recently they have been described as an ‘epic failure’ by the Chief Scientific Advisor to Natural England. But instead of abandoning these appalling culls the Government have chosen to press ahead without any further independent expert monitoring.

Labour has consistently said that to get Bovine TB under control we need to bring in stricter cattle measures and prioritise badger and cattle vaccinations, but these culls are not the answer.

– Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary
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