Government rejects Derbyshire badger cull

Badger Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Badger culling licences will not be granted in Derbyshire until May 2020

A proposed badger cull in Derbyshire this winter has been rejected by the government.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would not grant farmers licences.

It said it would give further consideration to how to combine vaccination programs against bovine TB with other methods.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which campaigned against the proposed culling, said it was "delighted".

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Media captionThe science behind the badger cull was established in 1990s

Dr Jo Smith, chief executive of the trust, said: "We will continue to expand our badger vaccination programme to ensure that Derbyshire's badgers remain healthy and safe from the cull and we'll use our findings to better inform the government's strategy for managing bovine TB.

"We believe that the badger cull doesn't work and is scientifically unsound. Badger vaccination and other measures, including regulations and restrictions on cattle movements as well as the development of cattle vaccine are the best approach for the farming industry and our wildlife."

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokesman said: "The government has decided the proposed badger cull in Derbyshire should not be licensed this year while further consideration is given to how best to manage the coexistence of vaccination projects and badger control projects in the edge area."

The direction to Natural England will expire on 1 May 2020.

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