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Somerset badger cull finishes today
11:00am Friday 1st November 2013 in News
THE three-week extended licence to the badger cull in West Somerset expires at midday today.
Originally, the license was granted for a six-week period which ended on October 7.
This was extended by three weeks after figures emerged showing too few badgers had been shot.
Initially, the target number of badgers to be killed was 2,081 but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) revealed only 850 badgers were shot.
This was only 40% of the target which was then revised to 1,020, with a three-week extension to enable a further 170 badgers to be killed.
Ministers and the National Farmers Union say badger culling is needed to control cattle TB.
Around 28,000 cattle were slaughtered in 2012 at a cost of £100m to taxpayers.
However, animal welfare groups say scientific evidence does not support the policy of shooting badgers in an attempt to control the disease.
A pilot cull in Gloucestershire was also extended with the new licence running for an extra eight weeks until December 18.
Culls could be rolled out in 40 areas, if the pilots are deemed successful.
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