Farmers and Tory ministers blame badgers for spreading TB in cattle, and say culling
will curb the disease.
We are therefore calling for the culls in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire to be completed using the tried and tested method of cage trapping and shooting, and for culling
to be rolled out to other carefully selected areas using this method.
is being piloted in Gloucestershire and Somerset, though there has been huge disagreement on how successful the trials have been.
The licenses also require ACT Policing officers and media liaison to advise the public by 3pm on the day that culling
An online petition against culling
has gathered 300,000 signatures and former Queen guitarist Brian May led a 1,000-strong march through London to hand the petition in to Downing Street.
Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a key member of the team that conducted an earlier, decadelong trial of badger culling
, said following the trial: "It's very likely that so far this cull will have increased the TB risk for cattle inside the Gloucestershire cull zone rather than reducing it.
Dr Lingard said the figure of 70% was entirely arbitrary, and was picked following the previous protocol established by the Randomised Badger Culling
Trial between 1998 and 2006.
If the culls - delayed last year by bad weather, the need for police to focus on the Olympics and new information on badger numbers - are judged to be effective and humane, culling
could be rolled out across TB "hotspot" areas.
Professor Lord John Krebs commented on the issue, saying that he had "not found any scientists who are experts in population biology or the distribution of infectious disease in wildlife who think that culling
is a good idea.
Mr Paterson insisted the Government remained absolutely committed to the policy of culling
, which he said he was "utterly convinced" was the right thing to do.
Bovine TB is a big problem, but local culling
of one of our muchloved native animals is not the answer.
All the facts state that culling
will not reduce TB and famers will be forced to pay twice for this cull - once for the cull and again for its failure.