A cull of 70% of badgers over six weeks in the West Country will start on Tuesday in Somerset. It is expected to begin in Gloucestershire later in the week.
Here is what to expect from the move:
- Badgers will be shot in the wild instead of being trapped before culling.
- Pilot culls will see the killing of 70% of badgers in each area, which could mean the culling of 5,000 animals.
- The government spent £90m on TB control in England during 2010-11, including £6.9m on research and development.
- Surveys in the 1980s and 1990s suggested there are between 250,000 and 300,000 badgers in Britain.
- Defra estimates that the cull – across a 150km2 area during the summer for the next four years – will lead to a 16% cut in bovine TB.