Natural England has confirmed that all criteria have been met to allow 7 new licences to be issued to companies in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. This will be in addition to existing licences in Gloucestershire and Somerset who move into their fourth year and Dorset who will move into year 2 of culling.
Operations in these areas will be carried out under 4-year licences which allow culling to take place every year between 1 June and 31 January.
Start dates for culling activity within this period will be decided by the licensed companies.
Natural England has confirmed to licensees the permitted maximum and minimum numbers of badgers that will be subject to control operations.
Defra’s guidance to Natural England specifies the criteria Natural England must take account of in developing and issuing licences.
Licences only permit badger control to take place outside of the close seasons:
- controlled shooting – 1 February to 31 May
- cage-trapping and shooting – 1 December to 31 May
- cage-trapping and vaccination – 1 December to 30 April