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Last Updated: Tuesday October 03 2006 15:25 GMT

Row over badger cull plans


Lots of badgers could be kept alive, as experts say plans to kill them to stop disease spreading aren't necessary.

Some people say because badgers can give a disease called TB to cows, they should be hunted, or 'culled', in order to keep the cattle safe.

However a new study shows that culling badgers actually increases the amount of badgers that have TB.

But a farmers' group said the report actually shows we need even tighter controls on badgers.

Latin name Meles meles
Grow to about 90cm long
Weigh 10 kg on average
Live in holes called setts

While the experts are divided, some animal welfare groups are worried badgers might be being killed illegally.

The study also shows that cows spread TB to badgers much more than previously thought.

Farmers' groups say that although this might be true, it's much more common for badgers to give the disease to cows.

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