There has been coverage this morning in the Daily Mirror speculating on the outcome of the application process for badger control licences this year. Our statement below was not carried in print.
Natural England are currently in the process of reviewing the badger cull applications for 2019. A decision on which areas will be granted a licence to exercise badger control will be communicated in due course.
A Defra spokesperson said:
Bovine TB remains one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK, causing devastation for hard-working farmers and rural communities.
There is no single measure that will provide an easy answer to beating the disease.
That is why we are pursuing a range of interventions to eradicate the disease by 2038, including tighter cattle movement controls, regular testing and vaccinations.
There has also been coverage this week in the Times, discussing the possibility of farmers being given permission to shoot badgers in areas where badger vaccination is currently taking place.
Defra’s advice to Natural England on preventing the spread of bovine TB states that where culling and vaccination are taking place on adjacent land, applicants should take reasonable steps to negotiate an agreed approach to badger control operations along the relevant boundary with that landowner or occupier.