Government ministers will announce on Thursday (15 December) their approval of a badger cull in two pilot areas in England next summer, Farmers Weekly understands.
DEFRA has not confirmed any decision on a cull, but according to sources, DEFRA ministers are working towards an announcement around lunchtime on Thursday.
A source close to DEFRA officials confirmed: “We are working towards announcing a badger cull in two pilot areas in England shortly.
“If all goes well, it is going to be announced on Thursday lunchtime.”
The two pilot areas were identified at a very early stage of the consultation, but no details will be released on the locations, the source added.
It has been widely reported that the locations for the pilot culls would be in the south-west, where bovine tuberculosis is most acute. But Farmers Weekly understands that locations in two different regions have been chosen for the pilot scheme.
Launching the stakeholder consultation on the details of the policy in July, DEFRA secretary Caroline Spelman said she was “strongly minded” to allow controlled in two pilot areas next year.
Police have warned that a badger cull could spark clashes between farmers and animal rights protesters, which police forces stretched by commitments to policing the Olympics, would struggle to control.
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