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Fat cows, soil, and badger cull

13 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 24 January 2014

British cows have become too fat, according to experts at Scotland's rural college. Their research suggests that thanks to a good grass-growing season, combined with top quality silage and hay, some cattle ate too much last year. If farmers don't get the diet of their cows right, the scientists say the larger size of some animals could cause complications, particularly when calving.

New figures obtained by the wildlife charity Care for the Wild suggest that only a quarter of the total number of badgers in the two pilot cull areas were killed using the free shooting method.

However, Defra say that the figures, obtained by a freedom of information request, are misleading maths and that over half of the total number of badgers culled in Gloucestershire and Somerset last year were dispatched using free shooting with the rest being culled by cage trapping.

The formal independent report into the two pilot badger culls is still to be published. However the NFU are concerned that delaying the roll out of the badger cull in 2014 could mean it may not happen at all this year.

And we hear from the New Zealand academic who says we need more formal policies in order to protect our soils, and we find out about the latest soil-friendly crop cultivation technology at the LAMMA 2014 machinery show.

Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Jules Benham.


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