Outspoken anti-badger cull campaigner Dominic Dyer has been named as the new chief executive of the Badger Trust.

Mr Dyer, a leading critic of the government’s badger cull policy, will take up his post on 3 March.

“It’s a huge honour to become CEO of the Badger Trust at such a critical time,” said Mr Dyer, who is also policy advisor for the charity Care for the Wild.

Read more on: Bovine TB and the badger cull

“For too long badgers have been exploited, abused and killed and I look forward to leading the Badger Trust and working with its thousands of supporters across the country. “

The ultimate aim, he added, was to help find a long term solution to reducing bovine TB, which is both “good for farmers” and provided “long-term protection” for badgers.

Shadow DEFRA minister Huw Irranca Davies welcomed Mr Dyer’s appointment and said: “Dominic has been a consistent and powerful voice for evidence-based policy, supporting vaccination as an alternative to the government’s failed badger culls.”

Last year, Mr Dyer was forced to apologise to NFU president Peter Kendall after he wrongly suggested he was complicit in the gassing of badgers .

The Independent Expert Panel, set up to assess the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire, is due to publish its report in March.

The findings of the report will inform DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson’s decision over whether the badger cull can be rolled out to at least 10 new regions in England this year, as part of government plans to eradicate the bovine TB from this country.