Approval has been given for controversial badger culls to start in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire in June this year. Dorset has been chosen as a reserve area - culling will take place there if it is halted in either of the first two areas.
The culls are designed to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, which is spread by badgers. The aim is to reduce local badger populations in the pilot areas by 70%, though limits have been imposed on the numbers that can be shot, to prevent local extinction.
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