By Damian Carrington

After controversial pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset, farmers call for culls in three more ‘TB hotspot’ areas in south-west England

The controversial badger cull in England could be rolled out to three new regions within weeks, with Natural England currently considering new applications from farmers.

The culls, intended to curb tuberculosis in cattle, have been piloted for the last two years in Gloucestershire and Somerset. The pilots have repeatedly missed their targets for badgers shot, been judged inhumane and have been dismissed by scientists as a failure.