I WAS very saddened to discover not only that the badger cull zone has been extended to around the Wellington area but also that Somerset Wildlife Trust - which has a ‘no-cull’ policy on its own land - is failing to protect badgers on its reserves.

Somerset Against the Badger Cull (SABG), which aims to monitor what goes on during the Government-backed badger cull, has had an anonymous tip-off from a dog walker who found the grisly remains of a badger in a cage trap not far from Langford Heathfield nature reserve which is owned and managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust.

The wildlife trusts are among a number of organisations that do not allow badger culling on their land, including Taunton Deane Borough Council, the National Trust, RSPB and the Woodland Trust.

The problem is that none of the trusts have demanded buffer zones around their land to protect badgers.

As a result, those carrying out the cull are legally able to set traps and shoot badgers right on their boundaries.

Yet, as a native species, badgers are an invaluable asset to the trusts’ reserves, helping to provide ecological balance as well as being loved and admired by many visitors.

SABG claims that as many as 3,500 badgers could be killed this year in the Somerset cull zones alone, a huge increase compared to previous years.

Not only is the cull immoral and inhumane but there is no scientific evidence that it will reduce TB in cattle - the reason for carrying out the culls in the first place.

The fact the killing is happening around nature reserves suggests that the companies licensed to kill badgers are struggling to meet their targets.

Members of SABC are keeping watch night and day over the remaining badgers. It’s a terrible shame that in Somerset, badgers are no longer safe anywhere.