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Badger cull is postponed until next summer
A CONTROVERSIAL pilot scheme to cull badgers in a bid to stop the spread of tuberculosis in cattle has today been shelved.
In a statement to Parliament, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson confirmed the trial in the south west of England is to be postponed until next summer.
He said a number of factors had led to the decision to delay the cull, including bad weather over the summer, protracted legal proceedings and new research which has revealed higher than expected badger numbers in the pilot areas.
However, Mr Paterson said he was committed to the cull going ahead.
As we previously reported, a proposed test area for a six-week trial encompassed parts of the districts of Wychavon and the Malvern Hills, as well as the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury.
Another test area was set to be targeted near Taunton in Somerset.
The scheme would have seen the shooting of badgers as part of efforts to tackle TB in cattle.
Farmers say the cull is necessary to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, but the plans have been strongly opposed by wildlife campaigners.