Culling badgers is the right thing to do to avoid "appalling consequences" for farmers, cattle and badgers, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister warned that the Government could spend "another billion pounds" dealing with the consequences of bovine TB, which is partly spread by badgers, if culls not go ahead.
Mr Cameron said the coalition had the political courage to help the countryside.
He told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today: "They are going to go ahead and it's important that they go ahead.
"I think the countryside needs from the Government not just cash and commitment but it needs courage.
"This does require political courage, but we have that political courage because quite simply it's the right thing to do.
"If we don't do anything we're going to be spending over the next 10 years another billion pounds dealing with the consequences of bovine TB, and let's be clear there are appalling consequences not just for the cattle and the farmers, there are also appalling consequences for the badgers."
Some 5,000 badgers are set to be killed in two pilot culls in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset. It is believed the culls could start this month.
Culling has been licensed over a six-week period in the six months from June 1 and the pilots will assess whether sufficient badgers can be killed in an area to have an impact on in reducing TB in cattle.