BADGER cull plans have been branded “shameful” and a “tragedy for England” by the Lancashire Badger Group (LBG).

With support from the National Farmers’ Union, environment secretary Owen Paterson has announced Government intentions to shoot 5,000 badgers at feeding stations to try to reduce the bovine TB in cattle.

“The science has, and the scientists continue to tell us, that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to bovine TB,” said Jo Bates-Keegan, the group’s chairman.

The Government argues that suitable vaccinations for badgers and cattle are “years away” and that every measure to eradicate bovine TB must be tried.