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High bathing water standards at South West beaches

A surfer at Fistral Beach Credit: PA

More beaches than ever in the South West have achieved the highest bathing water standards this year according to the Good Beach Guide.

One hundred and seventy three beaches across the region were awarded the status, thirty percent more than last year.

It's thought last year's dry summer improved the water quality.

Dorset farmer's cows test positive for TB

Paul Gould is having to send 36 of his cows to slaughter after they tested positive for TB. Credit: ITV News West Country

The chairman of the Dorset branch of the National Farmers' Union Paul Gould is having to send 36 of his cows to slaughter after they tested positive for TB.

Mr Gould was heavily involved in the unsuccessful campaign to extend the badger cull to Dorset.

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Princess Anne: Gassing badgers 'most humane'

Gassing badgers is "the most humane way" to control their numbers, Princess Anne has said.

The Government is considering introducing gassing after a report said that shooting the animals would not bring their numbers down enough to stop them spreading tuberculosis in cattle.

The Government is trying to bring down badger numbers to stop the spread of tuberculosis in cattle Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"If we want to control badgers, the most humane way of doing it is to gas them," the Princess Royal told the BBC's Countryfile programme.

Read: Badger culls to continue, but 'only in pilot areas'

West Country (E)

Team Badger reaction

It’s almost beyond belief that the Government is still trying to continue with its clumsy and ill-advised policy of badger killing. Last year's culls in Gloucester and Somerset have been condemned by its own advisory panel as inhumane and ineffective, and the scientific community has warned that the result of these culls will most likely be an actual worsening of the bTB problem in these areas.

There is no reason to suppose that future culls will be anything other than even more spectacular failures.

Millions of pounds of the taxpayers' money are being spent on killing mostly healthy wild animals – money that should now be spent on vaccination, which is the only realistic hope of eradicating bovine TB.

– Brian May, Queen Guitarist and founder of The Save Me Trust

It truly beggars belief that despite overwhelming scientific consensus that culling badgers can make no meaningful contribution to tackling bovine TB; despite damning evidence from post mortems, Natural England observations and the leaked IEP report that the pilot culls were inhumane and caused unacceptable badger suffering; and despite considerable political and public opposition to further badger persecution, this government still arrogantly refuses to listen to sense or science.

– Mark Jones, Gloucestershire vet, & executive director of Humane Society International UK
West Country (E)

Badger cull: government abandons national roll-out plans

Plans to extend the controversial cull of badgers to more parts of the West Country have today been shelved.

The Environment Secretary said that the Government needed more time to learn the lessons of two pilots in Somerset and Gloucestershire, which will continue with some changes this year.

Mr Paterson also announced a proposed new badger vaccination policy in the edges of the infected areas:-

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