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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May, 2003, 07:40 GMT 08:40 UK
Badgers saved from death
The badgers have been causing a problem since the 1980s

A group of badgers which was threatened with being culled has been saved.

Seven months ago the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued a licence to kill up to 16 badgers in Saltdean, East Sussex.

Problems with the badgers first started in the 1980s after it was claimed the animals were causing damage in the area.

Since then attempts have been made to resolve the situation.

'Over the moon'

The licence to cull the animals was withdrawn a few weeks after it was issued after protestors staged vigils outside the houses where the badger setts were.

Now Defra has announced it will provide funding to relocate the badgers to an undisclosed area nearby.

Two artificial sites will be built and the badgers will be excluded from the four problem setts and encouraged to use their new homes.

Trevor Weekes, from the South Downs Badger Group said: "The animal welfare groups are over the moon to say the least that Defra are now going to fund the relocation effort of these badgers.

"They have been involved since the mid-1980s with the particular problem and it is about time a solution was found for the badgers and for the local residents .

"We are pleased no further badgers are going to be killed and a final solution has been found."

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