A trial cull of badgers could begin within weeks after the Badger Trust failed in its challenge against Government proposals at the Court of Appeal yesterday (September 11).

A trial cull of badgers could begin within weeks after the Badger Trust failed in its challenge against Government proposals at the Court of Appeal on September 11, 2012.

Two companies have been set up by farmers to manage the cull using trained marksmen on farmland within the trial zones at night.The decision clears the way for the start of culls in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset, which DEFRA claims are needed to tackle a disease currently costing the UK more than £100 million a year.

A DEFRA spokesman said: “Nobody wants to cull badgers but last year bovine TB led to the slaughter of 26,000 cattle. No country in the world where wildlife carries TB has eradicated the disease in cattle without tackling it in wildlife too.”

Tuesday’s decision is the second time the Badger Trust has been defeated in its efforts to stop the cull. In July the High Court ruled against the trust after it challenged the legality of DEFRA’s plans.

The Court of Appeal decision means the two six-week culls are now expected to begin in the autumn before the badger breeding season begins.

Two companies have been set up by farmers to manage the cull using trained marksmen on farmland within the trial zones at night. Culling will not be permitted where there is a risk that badgers feeding young could be killed.

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