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CLA praises environment secretary's commitment to badger cull
THE Environment Secretary Owen Paterson's commitment to the badger cull has been praised by the Country Land & Business Association (CLA).
Mr Paterson said the Somerset cull had managed to eliminate three-fifths of badgers in the area making a major and effective contribution to the fight against bovine TB in the county.
He added that applications for a short time extension had also been received by Natural England for Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Henry Robinson, CLA Deputy President, said Mr Paterson’s commitment to completely eliminating bovine TB could not be doubted.
“The cull has proved challenging and badger numbers were far lower than expected, but progress is clearly being made in a safe, humane and effective way,” he said.
“The progress that has been made is an important first step in the 25-year action plan to rid England of this terrible disease which led to 38,000 cattle being slaughtered in Britain in 2012.
“It is absolutely right that time extensions are being considered for both Somerset and Gloucestershire.”
In a statement, Gloucestershire Police said they were aware of this morning's announcement that Natural England is considering applications for an extension to the pilot badger cull in Somerset in Gloucestershire.
It said: "It is too soon for us to make any further comment at this stage. We will wait until Defra makes further announcements about Gloucestershire.
"In the meantime, we are continuing with our policing operation, Themis, in response to the pilot badger cull.
"Our role is to provide a policing response to the cull and any incidents arising from it. This will be neutral and independent of the cull."
Meanwhile, Bill Oddie is to join a Wounded Badger Patrol in the Gloucestershire cull zone tomorrow.
The naturalist and musician will take part in the patrol's night-time monitoring activities and speak to those battling to protect the badgers.
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