The decision to delay the controversial culling of thousands of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle until next summer will come as a devastating blow to farmers in Shropshire, agricultural bosses said today.
The National Farmers Union said yesterday’s announcement to delay the two badger cull pilots expected this autumn was exceptionally difficult, but on balance was responsible and right.
But Peter Kendall, NFU president, said he understood the news would not be welcomed by farmers who are desperate for a solution to the cycle of reinfection of TB in their cows.
Environment Secretary and North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson told MPs yesterday that culling was originally delayed by the Olympics and legal proceedings.
He said it was now delayed by bad weather and the news that there were more badgers in the cull areas than previously estimated.
Mr Kendall said: “The NFU and its members take their responsibilities on this issue extremely seriously and I know there will be many who are devastated by the news.
“For those that have suggested that this cull is irresponsible, I think the decision shows that this is simply not the case.
“Postponement is the most responsible thing to do.”