Two trials of badger culling can legally get underway on Saturday 1 June.
Natural England has given the culls final approval, and chosen Dorset as a reserve culling area.
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.
So, is there a scientific justification for the cull? The government says there's evidence to show that the cull could reduce bovine TB. But opponents say this comes at a huge cost to the badger population, and may make things worse. Ken Goodwin reports.
So what's been the response by the local community to the start of the cull, the vigil and the protesters' camp? Bob Cruwys has been gauging reaction.
After years in the planning, a pilot badger cull has begun in West Somerset. Around 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed across the region over the next six weeks. Protesters have set up 'Camp Badger' near Watchet. Our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland has been following events...
Organisers of the Great Dorset Steam Fair that starts on Wednesday have urged visitors to prepare for warm weather.
There are already 5,000 caravans and tents on the site with an expected 15,000 more to be set up over the next few days.
Visitors have been advised to take sun cream, sun hats and plenty of water.
The event runs from Wednesday to Sunday at Tarrant Hinton in Blandford Forum.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has defended the badger cull saying that tackling the bovine TB in wildlife is the only way to curb the disease.
He said just culling infected cattle was, "just not good enough, we have also to address the disease in wildlife."
People campaigning against the badger cull have told ITV News West Country they believe the location of the first badger cull was at Carhampton between Dunster and Watchet in Somerset.
The authorities responsible for the cull have not revealed the exact location.
David Bowles from the RSPCA has said that the badger cull is misguided and "won't actually do what we all what we all want to see happen, which is an end to bovine TB in cattle."