DORSET is once again facing the possibility of a badger cull in the county.
Following reports that a cull is set to be rolled out in Dorset later this year, the Department for Rural Affairs (Defra) has insisted that ‘no decision has been made’.
The results of the trial culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire have yet to be officially released but opponents say they missed targets on how many badgers were killed, and that some were killed inhumanely.
Farmers in Dorset are broadly in support of bringing a cull to the county, where livestock has been badly affected by bovine TB.
Dorset was a reserve site in case either of the trial culls last year could not go ahead.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust, which has begun its own programme of vaccinating badgers, welcomed news last week that MPs supported a motion put forward in the House of Commons to halt the policy on culling.
But culls could still go ahead, despite the success of the motion.
A spokesperson for Defra said: “Bovine TB is the most pressing animal health problem in the UK and causing untold misery to our beef and dairy farmers.
“The Government remains determined to tackle bovine TB by all available means which is why we have outlined a 25 year plan to eradicate this disease by addressing infection in both cattle and wildlife which was debated and approved by Parliament last year.
“We are considering the findings of the independent expert panel before a decision is made on making further licences to cull badgers available.”