While DAERA vets acknowledge that it will be “challenging” to get a badger cull off the ground this year, Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) president Victor Chestnutt remains optimistic that a six-week cull can begin in TB hotspot areas from 1 September 2022.

Plans to cull badgers by controlled shooting in specific intervention areas are included in a new TB eradication strategy published by DAERA, with final decisions on the way forward taken by Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.