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Kendall Says Badger Cull Postponed, Not Abandoned

24 October 2012

UK - In a letter to members of the National Farmers' Union, President Peter Kendall has said that that the cull in the pilot areas has been postponed until next year, it has not been abandoned.

Mr Kendall explained that the reasons for postponing the cull, saying that timing was the largest issue.

"We have really been up against it in terms of timing; there was need to avoid any overlap with the Olympics and Paralympics, which set the start date back right from the start. We were then subject to further delay as a result of the legal challenges by the Badger Trust. On top of this we all know as farmers how awful the weather has been this summer and autumn."

The decision to postpone the cull came after a significant increase in the estimates of badger numbers was seen in the pilot cull zones, meaning a larger number of badters in those zones would have to be culled.

"This led us to conclude that if we proceeded under these circumstances we ran a very high risk of falling short of the new higher numbers needed to demonstrate that the policy worked. Failure to demonstrate that the policy worked would have stopped it dead in its tracks with no prospect of future roll out.

"This is regrettable, but there is a positive side to this. Going next year we will have a clear idea of the number of badgers we will need to remove, we will be able to gear up our preparations to achieve that target and, above all, we will be operating at a much more favourable time of the year.

"We will regroup; this is a delay in implementing the policy and not a change of policy. You have my commitment that we will carry on with all the work that is needed to make sure that we are in a position to deliver the pilot areas as early as possible next year."

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