Q. What are the details of the planned culls?

A. There will initially be pilot culls in two areas of England in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire though the exact parameters of the culls will not be made public.

These ‘pilots’ are supposedly designed to assess the effectiveness and humaneness of culling badgers by free shooting. Importantly, they will not assess the effectiveness of culling as a control of the spread of the disease. The culls will be paid for and undertaken by or on behalf of farmers who have been invited to put in an application for a licence to free shoot badgers to Natural England, the body who will assess against certain criteria. It is currently unclear how badger wounding rates will be assessed and monitored.

The pilot culls are due to begin at any point after mid-September.