Crown Estate permits badger cull on its land in Westcountry
The Crown Estate is to allow a pilot badger cull to take place on one of its Westcountry estates.
The six-week schemes are designed to test the methodology of shooting free- running badgers. Natural England, the Government’s environment watchdog, has already granted a licence for the pilot in west Gloucestershire.
But the second licence for the cull in Somerset has been delayed, reportedly due to a legal issue concerning the Crown Estate, which owns the 3,800 hectare Dunster Estate.
A Crown Estate spokesman said it was working with Natural England to provide access. He said: “The Crown Estate recognises that bovine TB is a major problem for farmers, including our tenants, and is co-operating with Natural England to allow access to our land for the pilot schemes.”
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The announcement prompted an immediate reaction from animal rights activists, who have already pledged to try to disrupt the cull. One was reported as saying: “The Crown Estate will be getting phone calls and there may well be people going to their offices with megaphones and pictures of dead badgers.”