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Campaigners meet Environment Secretary to challenge badger cull

Members of the Badger Trust spoke to Liz Truss in her London office Credit: ITV News

Campaigners fighting to stop the badgers culls in Somerset say they've had a 'constructive' meeting with the Environment Secretary.

Members of the Badger Trust spoke to Liz Truss in her London office, claiming the culls are both costly and ineffective in halting the spread of TB in cattle.

Afterwards they said she had agreed to consider various points about animal welfare and vaccination.

Dominic Dyer, Chief Executive Badger Trust Credit: ITV News

She said the chief veterinary officer still continues to advise her that it is a tool that needs to be used. She made no commitment on extension of the culls at this stage even though we did agree if there were any steps to go forward they'd have to go through proper licencing and consultation processes. She did accept that cattle measures are important, she did accept badger vaccination has a valuable roll to play as well which is a step forward from her predecessor Owen Patterson.

– Dominic Dyer, Chief Executive, Badger Trust

Badger cull could be extended under Conservative government

Badger culling could be extended Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Badger culling could be extended to more areas where TB is rife in cattle if the Conservatives win the general election.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss made the announcement at the NFU annual conference, saying the party will continue with its 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease, which includes rolling-out the cull.

Campaigners have reacted angrily, calling it a cruel and ineffective strategy in combating the disease.


Prospective MP stands down from Frome contest

The Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton and Frome has announced she has stepped down from the race to take over from David Heath as MP for Somerton and Frome.

In a letter sent out today, Sarah Yong said:-

I just wanted to let you know that it is with great regret that I've decided to stand down from my role as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton and Frome.

"I have made this decision for personal reasons and as a result of changes in personal circumstances.

"It's a decision I've not taken lightly, and it's one I take with a heavy heart.

"I would have loved to have followed in David Heath's footsteps as the MP for Somerton and Frome.

– Sarah Yong

Somerset MP says flooding 'was no surprise'

A Somerset MP whose constituency was badly affected by the winter floods has warned that people will not stand for government promises that are not delivered.

David Heath, MP for Somerton and Frome, told a Parliamentary debate that no-one should have been surprised at the extent of the floods, given the warnings about a lack of dredging. He said proposals to maintain rivers and improve drainage must be carried out.

Heath describes sacking as "brutal"

David Heath in his role as Farming Minister Credit: PA

The Somerset MP who HAD been in charge of the badger cull has described his sacking as "brutal".

David Heath, Liberal Democrat MP for Somerton and Frome, was dropped as farming minister last week and now says he won't stand again at the next election.

He told us he didn't believe it was connected to the failure to reach targets for the cull in Somerset.

You can see our Political Correspondent Bob Constantine's full interview with Mr Heath here.


David Heath on being sacked and stepping down as MP

Somerset MP David Heath has been talking about his decision to step down at the next election, and his sacking as farming minister in charge of the badger cull.

Mr Heath - Liberal Democrat MP for the marginal constituency of Somerton and Frome, was speaking at Westminster to our political correspondent Bob Constantine.

David Heath sacked as Farming Minister

David Heath, MP for Somerton & Frome sacked from the government Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

David Heath, the MP for Somerton & Frome is the latest casualty of the government re-shuffle. He has been sacked from his post at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson appointed to a junior ministerial job in the department.

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