Mass populations of badgers should be gassed if farmers are to eradicate bovine TB which is spiralling out of control in parts of the Midlands, the National Farmers' Union said.
The NFU called for an immediate badger cull after publishing its findings, at the Royal Show, into tackling the disease.
It said gassing, and in some cases snaring, badger populations was desperately needed to prevent any further spread of TB.
In the past few years, cases have soared in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, with the disease costing taxpayers £88 million a year.
Cattle are regularly tested for TB, with thousands of animals that show signs of the disease being slaughtered each year in the region.
The NFU wants the Government to lift the moratorium on the issue of licences to control badgers under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It has also called for a general
reduction in the badger population, irrespective of livestock disease.
NFU president Tim Bennett said: "The package of measures I have published provide a plan of action to tackle a problem which is proving extremely harmful, not only to farmers but to the health of badgers and livestock alike.
"I do not believe we can sit back and wait any longer, and particularly not for another year or more for the results of the Krebs trial.
"The NFU is not advocating the widespread extermination of badgers. Rather, the NFU and its members wish to see healthy cattle and badger populations."
Government test culls on 30 randomly- chosen areas, designed to decide once and for all whether badgers are responsible for the spread of bovine TB, began in 1999 following the publication of the Krebs Report into the problem. The results are not expected until 2006 at the earliest.
Last month a new small- scale study was announced into the use of vaccines on badgers to control bovine tuberculosis. It is expected to start in mid 2006 and run for three years, as part of Defra's on-going research into the disease.
But Mr Bennett said culling must take place before vaccination is considered.
"There are people who are giving up cattle farming because of this disease. We can't exaggerate enough the importance of action needed to be taken on this.
"Badger control can only be the short and medium term option. The only long term option is vaccination," he said.
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett refused to comment on when or if a badger cull would take place.
"I am not going to give you a timetable. We have very much recognised the critical impact and we are trying to keep areas free from TB," she said.