Badger cull 'now underway' in five new areas

For the first time the cull has been extended beyond trial areas in Dorset, Gloucestershire and West Somerset Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Badger culling has been rolled out to five new parts of England in a bid to tackle TB in cattle, the Government has confirmed.

Five additional licences have been granted for culls, with operations "now under way" across the following counties:

  • Gloucestershire

  • Cornwall

  • Devon

  • Dorset

  • Herefordshire

It brings the cull to Devon, Cornwall and Herefordshire for the first time.

The move, which comes following trial cull schemes in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset, is part of the Government's 25 year strategy to tackle TB in cattle, which can catch the disease from badgers.

DEFRA says that the move is to combat the devastating effects the disease has on farmers' livelihoods. Bovine TB costs taxpayers over £100m every year and England has the highest incidence of the disease in Europe.

In 2015 over 28,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease, causing devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities.

However, the trial culls were also widely condemned by some campaign groups, who say it is not a viable method to control the disease.