DORSET Wildlife Trust has welcomed the government announcement that the badger culling policy is not being extended.

The county was expected to be in the next wave. However the trust has said the strength of opposition to the pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire has strengthened the need to explore alternatives.

DWT says it wants to see the eradication of devastating bovine tuberculosis and understands the serious implications for farmers who lose livestock but believes there are better ways of controlling the disease with better biosecurity, badger vaccination and in the long term, cattle vaccination.

Imogen Davenport, DWT director of conservation said: “Dorset Wildlife Trust does not view this as a victory and is very sympathetic to farmers who suffer as a result of the devastating bTB disease.

“However scientific study has concluded that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to the control of bTB in cattle. We believe that there are alternative ways to control the disease and we welcome Defra’s announcements in relation to these measures.”

A five-year badger vaccination programme began last year on selected DWT reserves. However the trust is seeking more funds to cover the costs. There is more information at