THIRTEEN per cent of all badgers killed in the latest cull died in Somerset.

A total of 32,601 badgers were killed during control operations conducted in 30 areas of England between September 3 and November 1 this year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced.

In Somerset, 4,335 were killed during the cull.

Releasing a report on the cull, farming minister George Eustice said that the operations were helping to "achieve and maintain long-term reductions in the level of TB in cattle across the South West and Midlands".

In the report, Natural England chief scientist Tim Hill said the operations indicate that "industry-led badger control continues to deliver the level of effectiveness required by the policy to be confident of achieving disease control benefits".

There were three areas in Somerset which took part in the cull.

'Area 17' had a 'minimum' number of 775, and a 'maximum of 1,051. A total of 921 were killed in this area, 705 of those in 'controlled shootings' and 216 by cage traps.

In 'area 18', the minimum was 494, and the maximum 671. A total of 544 were killed - 406 by shooting and 138 by cages.

Area 30 had the largest amount with 2,870 killed. The area had a maximum of 3,301 and a minimum of 2,433. Of the 2,870, 2,220 were shootings and 670 were cage traps.

The report goes on to give further data about the cull.

In area 17, 750 shots were taken over a total of 411 'shooter nights' and 6,366 'trap nights'.

In area 18, 438 shots were taken over a total of 317 'shooter nights' and 5,082 'trap nights'.

In area 30, 2,372 shots were taken over a total of 1,159 'shooter nights' and 12,6999 'trap nights'.

In the last area, 15 'compliance monitoring' visits were carried out for controlled shooting, and four for cage trapping.

UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said there had been a 50 per cent fall in the number of new confirmed cattle "breakdowns" in the first areas to trial culls.

She said culling should continue in these areas for the duration of existing licences, lasting one or two years.

"Effective" culls should be carried out in 2019 and the following two years in 10 other areas for disease control benefits to be realised, she said.

Control operations were carried out in areas of Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire and Wiltshire in 2018.