1. Badger culling is a controversial means of preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis ("bTB"). The disease is a serious animal health problem in England and requires that infected cattle be destroyed at great cost. Badgers (along with other wild and domesticated animals) can act as a wildlife reservoir for bTB, which they transmit to cattle. Historically badgers have been subject to widespread persecution in England, leading to the Badgers Act 1973 and now the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The awareness of the role played by badgers in the spread of bTB led to a provision in both Acts for the grant of licences for the killing of badgers for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease.