6 MAR 2018  Report from the Daily Mirror article by Ben Glaze

Activists fear up to 50,000 badgers could be slaughtered this year if new licences are granted.

Officials are plotting to widen the controversial badger cull in a fresh blow to campaigners’ calls to halt the bloodshed.

More than 19,000 animals died in last year’s cull across eight English Counties: Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

But Natural England has received applications to expand this year’s cull scheme to eight more counties: Avon, Berkshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

Badger Trust Chief Executive Dominic Dyer said ” This is rapidly becoming a badger eradication programme from large parts of the country where livestock farming is taking place”

Animal rights activists had been heartened last month when Environment Secretary Michael Gove refued to commit to continuing with the cull as a way of controlling bovine tuberculosis in cattle.

He said ” My whole approach is to be guided by the science”

“What we ant to do is progressively reduce and eliminate this disease in a way which ensures that all animals can be better protected from protection.We continually keep under review the best means of doing so”

Announcing a two week consultation today, the Government said ” Natural England has received applications or expressions of interest for a badger Disease Control Licence within the counties of Avon, Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

“Natural England will consider any impacts on livelihoods and daily activities that are relevant to the applications and/or expressions of interest and may share this information with the relevant applicant, based upon your postcode or specificn point of interest.

To read the full article go to : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/badger-cull-could-extended-eight-12135500#ICID=sharebar_facebook

To go to the Defra website to make a comment on the licence applications go to :

https://consult.defra.goc.uk/natural-england/8899f8e7/

It has a very limited criteria and only those living in the areas can comment and only if it impacts on their  livelihood or daily activity locally!