Gloucestershire and Somerset confirmed as badger cull trial areas
WEST Gloucestershire and West Somerset have been confirmed as the two areas for the 2013 badger cull trials.
After the breakdown of last year’s proposed cull in these two areas there was some concern among farmers that an another trial area could be found.
But Natural England has confirmed this week that all criteria have been met to allow control of badgers in these areas in the battle against bovine TB.
Each licence has a four-year term, authorising six-week control operations to be carried out between June 1 and January 31.
Licensees are authorised to reduce badger populations in the two pilot areas by at least 70 per cent and a maximum number of badgers has been specified to prevent the risk of local extinction.
The Government has selected Dorset as a reserve pilot area and Natural England said it will now work to process a licence application for this area.
Badger control will only be licensed in this area this year if control operations in West Gloucestershire or West Somerset cannot proceed.