Natural England - Badger Control Licence issued in West Somerset

Badger Control Licence issued in West Somerset

4 October 2012

Natural England has today issued a licence permitting the control of badgers in West Somerset for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

Application for a licence was made by a specially formed company representing farming and land management interests covering approximately 250km2 and over 70% of the West Somerset pilot area.

Natural England has issued the licence having satisfied itself that the application meets the strict criteria set out in the Government’s bTB policy guidance, which specifies how control operations to prevent the spread of bTB can be carried out.

The licence: (587kb)pdf document has a four year term and authorises control operations to be conducted within the West Somerset pilot area over a continuous six week period each year over the next four years. No control operations can be carried out during specified close seasons.

Under the terms of the licence, and in accordance with the criteria specified in the bTB control policy, licensees will be authorised to reduce badger populations in the pilot area by at least 70% and maximum numbers will be specified to prevent the risk of local extinction.

Control operations can only commence once Natural England has formally confirmed with the Licensee the specific dates when these operations will take place, the persons authorised to carry them out, confirmation that the necessary funds are in place, and the permitted number of badgers that will be subject to control operations. These formal confirmations are expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

Licensing criteria:

Copies of the Guidance to Natural England - which specifies the criteria Natural England need to take account of in developing and issuing licences.external link

Close seasons:

  • Controlled shooting 1 Feb – 31 May
  • Caged trapping 1 December – 31 May
  • Cage-trapping and vaccination - 1 December to 30 April

 

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