THE High Court has rejected a bid by the Badger Trust to challenge the government's decision to let this year's badger culls take place without independent monitoring.

The Badger Trust wanted the controlled-shooting of badgers to only take place with an independent panel in place.

Defra lawyers said the monitoring was only intended to run in the first year.

Dominic Dyer from The Badger Trust, is looking at taking the case to the Court of Appeal.

The Trust has been ordered to pay £10,000 towards Defra's legal costs.

National England issued letters on Tuesday authorising a new round of culls to go ahead in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Culling contractors will have to kill between 931 and 1,876 badgers during six weeks.

The 2013 cull saw 921 badgers killed in Gloucestershire and 940 in Somerset.

It is not known yet when this years culls will start.

The government and farmers insist that culling is necessary to tackle TB in livestock.

Opponents of the cull say it is inhumane and ineffective.

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, dismissed the application for a judicial review of the cull, due to start its second of four years this autumn.

Following last year's cull, an independent panel said the cull was not humane.