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THE Secretary of State has set out the next stage in the Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England. On December 14, 2011, she announced in the House of Commons that Defra will go ahead with a pilot of a badger control policy in two areas next year. These pilots are in response to concerns raised in previous consultations and will test our assumptions on the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of controlled shooting. The pilots will be overseen and evaluated by an independent panel of experts.
We do not yet know where the pilots will take place, other than they will be situated in areas of high bovine TB incidence, subject to annual routine testing. Prospective areas will be put forward by the farming industry and Defra …