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Pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire to conclude
The cull company in west Gloucestershire and Natural England have agreed that culling operations will cease, starting Saturday 30 November.
Following discussions with the NFU, the cull company and Natural England, the licence for the extension of this year’s pilot cull will stop with effect from noon on Saturday.
This decision has been taken based on the decreasing number of badgers seen by contractors over recent weeks which makes achieving a further significant reduction in the coming weeks unlikely. The end of the cage-trapping season tomorrow was agreed by the cull company and Natural England as a sensible point to stop activity.
Defra will update Parliament on Monday with the final number of badgers removed during the extension period.
The eight-week licence extension was granted by Natural England on 23 October.
The decision to end the extension early does not affect the original licence granted by Natural England in September last year, which remains in place and which allows culling operations to take place for four years in west Gloucestershire. Defra press release.
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About Natural England
Established in 2006, Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.
- We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved. All of England’s NNRs form part of a UK wide network of nature reserves covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and advising widely on their conservation.
- We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.
- We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.
- We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.