The National Trust has said it would ?not object? to a badger cull on its land, but has repeated its opposition to the Government?s policy of ?free shooting?. The Trust?s head of nature conservation, David Bullock, said that if there were cases where the criteria for a successful cull were met, the trust would ?not in principle be against killing badgers.?

But he added that the Trust had told DEFRA that ?free shooting? of badgers would not be an effective way of tackling bovine TB. ?If we are going to kill them,? he said, ?the most effective way is to catch and kill them.?

Meanwhile, the Trust has announced a four-year badger vaccination programme on the Killerton Estate in Devon. A spokesman said: ?Vaccination doesn?t result in perturbation [pushing infected badgers out to the wider area], so it will not expose our tenants to the increased risk of bovine TB that comes with culling.?

The rest of this article appears in 4th May issue of Shooting Times.

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