Badger culling is to be banned on Derbyshire County Council land.
The Labour-led authority has made the decision on the back of scientific evidence which suggests a badger cull would actually increase the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB).
And the council believes a mass slaughter would promote illegal badger baiting in the county.
The Government has announced badger culling will begin in two pilot areas in the south of the country.
The trials – approved amid fears the animals are spreading bovine TB among cattle – could eventually be rolled out across Derbyshire.
Cllr Anne Western, leader of the council, said: “We are proud to live in Derbyshire which is one of the most beautiful rural counties in the country.
“That is why we want to protect our natural wildlife for which makes Derbyshire famous.
“Culling is not only cruel but it is bad news for our farmers who are more likely to get infected herds of cattle.
“I hope the Government follows our lead and listens to the science that says culling is bad for our countryside.”
A study by by the Independent Science Group in 2007 concluded that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to tackling bovine TB and is actually likely to make it worse.
Next year, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is planning to start a five-year programme of vaccinating badgers against bovine TB.
The council has announced it will support the organisation with the vaccination programme.
Cllr Western added: “By banning culling on our land and allowing Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to vaccinate our badgers, we are dealing with the problem of bovine TB head on.”
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