FARMERS in North and East Yorkshire have welcomed the Government’s decision to permit licensed badger shooting – even though no one from the area will be applying for a licence.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman made the announcement as part of the campaign against bovine TB, which can be spread through infected wildlife, particularly badgers, and which can cause tuberculosis in humans.

Although the disease is not a problem in Yorkshire and the north east, it is a problem in other parts of the country.

Adam Bedford, the National Farmers’ Union senior food and farming advisor for Yorkshire and the north east, said: “We welcome it because cattle move around the country and it is everyone’s interests to get on top of this disease. We don’t want the problem to get this far north.”

Currently, every cattle herd in Yorkshire and the north east is tested for the disease every four years, compared to annual checks in affected areas of the country. Licences will only be granted where the disease is a problem.