The badger cull round up: Day one

Read the Countryfile Magazine round up for all the latest news on the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire...

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The first shots were fired last night as the badger cull got under way in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The cull is being trialed in the two areas to determine if the policy should be rolled out across the UK next year as a method of controlling the spread of tuberculosis in cattle and wildlife.

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Animal rights campaigners were out on patrol last night, searching for wounded badgers and the marksmen who have been hired by farmers to carry out the cull. There was also a heavy police presence to ensure that the shooting was done safely and any protests remained peaceful.

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Read the selection of links below for Countryfile Magazine’s daily round up of the badger cull…

The Daily Mail: Badger cull activists target farmers with campaign of intimidation… and cause death of a cow after setting herd loose

An Exmoor farmer has accused anti-badger cull protesters of causing the death of one of his cows. The farmer’s herd were allegedly let loose by campaigners, allowing one cow to wander on to a road where it was knock down by a van. The incident is now being investigated by police.

Dorset Echo: Dorset watches on standby as badger cull starts

It was announced before Easter that Dorset was to be a reserve area for a pilot cull to take place should the operations in either Somerset of Gloucestershire be unsuccessful. Now Dorset farmers wait as the neighboring counties commence with the shootings.

Farmers Weekly: Patterson pays tribute to badger cull farmers

The DEFRA secretary Owen Patterson has paid tribute to farmers and industry leaders for the resolve they have shown in the run up to the start of the badger cull.

ITV News: Policing costs greater than farmers’ bill for badger cull

Research into the true costs of the cull suggests that it could cost farmers an average of £1,000 per square kilometer per year. Meanwhile policing costs are estimated to be £2 million for each of the two pilot culls.

ITV News: RSPCA will monitor badger cull to ensure it is humane

The RSPCA has said that it expects a big increase in the number of badgers being brought to them because of the badger cull. They claim that they will be able to judge how humane the cull is by the number of badly wounded animals that arrive at their centres over the next six weeks.

The Bath Chronicle: I was pressurised into voting for badger cull, admits Bath MP Don Foster

The Liberal Democrat MP for Bath has admitted that he was forced by party whips to vote in favour of the cull. Mr Foster said that he wished to abstain in the House of Commons vote but was told this was “not an option”.

BBC News: Badger Cull Q&A

For more information on the cull take a look at this Q&A.