The Western Morning News reports:
Two months into the licensing window for two pilot culls of badgers to tackle bovine TB, there’s no confirmation yet that any animals have been killed. Andy Greenwood reports on the frustrations of farmers and the continued anger of opponents.
After decades of inaction by successive governments, Westcountry farmers living with the daily reality of bovine TB believed help was finally at hand.
After a long and bitter argument – and in the face of staunch opposition from many conservation groups – the Government finally gave the go-ahead for pilot badger-culling schemes in England in July 2011.
It took more than a year for Natural England, the Government’s environmental watchdog, to issues licences for pilots on Exmoor and in Gloucestershire, which run from June 1 to December 1.
Farmers hope that the schemes, which will see badgers culled over a continuous six-week period, will turn the corner in the fight against the disease.
Last year bovine TB led to the slaughter of 28,000 cattle last year – more than 20,000 of them in the South West – at a cost of £100 million to the taxpayer.
But a third of the way through the licensed period, not a single badger is believed to have been killed.