Natural England - Final authorisation of badger control licences in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset

Final authorisation of badger control licences in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset

27 February 2013

Natural England has today confirmed that all criteria have been met to allow control of badgers to begin in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset, for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). Each licence has a four-year term, authorising six-week control operations to be carried out annually between 1 June and 31 January*.

Licensees are authorised to reduce badger populations in the two pilot areas by at least 70% and a maximum number of badgers has been specified to prevent the risk of local extinction.

Government has selected Dorset as a reserve pilot area and Natural England will now work to process a licence application. Badger control will only be licensed in this area this year if control operations in west Gloucestershire or west Somerset cannot proceed.


Notes to editors:

Licensing criteria:

Licensees have formally advised Natural England:

  • that sufficient funds are in place to complete control operations
  • the specific dates on which control operations will take place
  • details of persons authorised to carry out control activity

Natural England has confirmed to licensees

  • the permitted maximum and minimum numbers of badgers that will be subject to control operations

Guidance to Natural Englandexternal link (specifies the criteria Natural England need to take account of in developing and issuing licences)

*Close seasons:

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

Further information link
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