More badger culls on the way after West Country 'success'

The government 'wants to see more' badger culls. Credit: Ben Birchall / PA Wire

'Successful' badger culls in Somerset and Dorset mean they could soon be rolled out to other areas, the government says.

The culls, which are designed to combat bovine TB, have met their targets in our region, but have been controversial.

  • 279 culled in West Somerset (where 524 badgers are allowed)

  • 756 culled in Dorset (where 835 badgers are allowed)

Badger cull protestors at Westminster, including Queen guitarist Brian May. Credit: ITV West Country

Protestors continue to criticise the culls, with many arguing for vaccination as a humane alternative. The government says that while private badger vaccination projects are underway, a worldwide shortage of BCG vaccine means this can't go further.

"Bovine TB is the greatest animal health threat to the UK. Dealing with the disease is costing the taxpayer £100million each year. Last year alone over 26,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease, causing devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities across large swathes of the country."

DEFRA / Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss