BADGER culling looks set to be carried out in Herefordshire to the dismay of many animal rights campaigners.

According to the BBC, the badger cull in England is to be extended to five new areas, including South Herefordshire.

Simon Osborne, from No Herefordshire Cull, said: "From our perspective it is really awful news that it will come into our area.

"We have been expecting it. We are really well prepared and we are going to fight it."

He said the group has been monitoring badger setts in the proposed cull area and will continue to do so.

A badger cull took place in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2015- farmers insist culling is necessary to tackle the spread of bovine TB, which results in thousands of cattle being slaughtered every year.

According to the BBC, the shooting of badgers will also begin in early September in South Devon, North Devon, North Cornwall, West Dorset and South Herefordshire.

But The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) refused to confirm or deny reports that the cull would be extended.

A Defra spokesman said: "Natural England is currently considering applications for further badger control licences as part of the usual licensing process.

"England has the highest incidence of TB in Europe and that is why we are taking strong action to deliver our 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease and protect the future of our dairy and beef industries.

"Badger control in areas where TB is rife is one part of our long-term plan, which also includes strengthening cattle testing and movement controls and improving biosecurity on farm and when trading."

The League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and The Badger Trust has condemned the news of further cull areas.

The CEO of the Badger Trust, Dominic Dyer, said: “After four years of badger culling no one can now doubt that the policy has been a disastrous failure on scientific, cost and humaneness grounds.

"For the new DEFRA secretary, Andrea Leadsom, to ignore the facts and extend this policy into five new areas of the country defies belief.

"The badger cull is built on three pillars of sand, incompetence, negligence and deceit, and will ultimately collapse because it fails to address the key cause of bovine TB, which is cattle to cattle infection."

A spokesman for the National Farmers' Union said they would comment on any speculation about possible new areas before any official announcement.