NFU president Adam Quinney is “very confident” the pilot badger culls will go ahead this summer as planned in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.
The cull licences are in place and the pilots could begin any time from 1 June, but farmers and contractors will decide the best time to begin.
Mr Quinney joined fellow NFU representatives and local councillors at beef farmer David Barton’s farm walk at Manor Farm, Middle Duntisbourne on Friday (17 May).
He warned that bovine TB was increasing by around 10% annually and we cannot wait 10 years for a vaccine that “might be effective”.
Mr Quinney said: “We are not anti-badgers, we are anti-TB. Any badger cull that will happen in the future will only be in areas of high incidence and a long period of TB, such as Gloucestershire.
“This will not be a nationwide rollout. If the pilot areas are successful – and I predict they will be – it’s about focusing on the areas that have long-term significance.”
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