Controversial badger cull to be extended

The controversial badger cull looks set to be extended - including for the first time parts of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The controversial badger cull looks set to be extended - including for the first time parts of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

The cull has already been taking place in parts of West Somerset and Gloucestershire - but now, as DEFRA look to step up the battle against TB in cattle, it's expected to be rolled out in South and North Devon, North Cornwall and West Dorset.

Animal welfare groups have condemned the plans:

But, on the other side of the fence, the extension has been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union.

David George, from the NFU, told us:

According to the Badger Trust, since 2013 the government has licensed the culling of 3,916 badgers in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset - costing the taxpayer in excess of £25 million.

A stop the cull poster on a fence at 'Camp Badger, Watchet, near Minehead, Somerset, where protesters gathered to oppose the cull in 2013. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Defra confirmed Natural England was currently considering applications for further license areas.

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA