Potential applicants for badger control licences in 2015 onwards may submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) forms to Natural England.
Following recommendations from the Independent Expert Panel that assessed the badger cull pilots last year, a series of changes will be made to improve the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of culling. These changes will be monitored to assess their impact before further decisions are taken on more badger cull licences next year.
If an extension of licensing is confirmed, the first stage of the licensing process would require potential new application areas to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form: (126kb). Submissions for 2015 would then be screened by Natural England to determine which candidates should be invited to apply for a licence to control badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB (see guidance notes: (396kb)).
It is important to stress that this guidance to potential applicants is solely aimed at ensuring an efficient licensing process and in no way pre-empts any decision on an extension of licensing by the Government.
Criteria for applicants may be subject to change in accordance with the Government’s decision on the policy, but Expressions of Interest should show that an application is likely to meet the following current criteria:
Any preparatory work is done on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and at the applicant’s own risk, pending any decision on future roll-out by the Secretary of State.