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Campaigners meet Environment Secretary to challenge badger cull

Members of the Badger Trust spoke to Liz Truss in her London office Credit: ITV News

Campaigners fighting to stop the badgers culls in Somerset say they've had a 'constructive' meeting with the Environment Secretary.

Members of the Badger Trust spoke to Liz Truss in her London office, claiming the culls are both costly and ineffective in halting the spread of TB in cattle.

Afterwards they said she had agreed to consider various points about animal welfare and vaccination.

Dominic Dyer, Chief Executive Badger Trust Credit: ITV News

She said the chief veterinary officer still continues to advise her that it is a tool that needs to be used. She made no commitment on extension of the culls at this stage even though we did agree if there were any steps to go forward they'd have to go through proper licencing and consultation processes. She did accept that cattle measures are important, she did accept badger vaccination has a valuable roll to play as well which is a step forward from her predecessor Owen Patterson.

– Dominic Dyer, Chief Executive, Badger Trust

Badger cull could be extended under Conservative government

Badger culling could be extended Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Badger culling could be extended to more areas where TB is rife in cattle if the Conservatives win the general election.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss made the announcement at the NFU annual conference, saying the party will continue with its 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease, which includes rolling-out the cull.

Campaigners have reacted angrily, calling it a cruel and ineffective strategy in combating the disease.



Badger cull High Court hearing continues

The Badger Trust is seeking to halt the planned cull Credit: ITV Westcountry

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.

Badger Trust at the High Court

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 Badger Trust is asking the High Court to stop a planned cull of badgers. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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.

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