NFU not going cold on TB cull
Farming leaders are trying to give some assurances after confusion over proposed badger culls in the South West.
It comes after a succession of blows to the anti-TB programme the Government wants to implement.
While the cull is postponed until next year there are fears it will never happen.
NFU president Peter Kendall has tried to dismiss any doubts that the NFU is going cold on the cull.
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He said: "The NFU remains committed to delivering the two pilot culls as part of this programme to eradicate TB in cattle.
"The farmer-led companies tasked with carrying out the two pilot culls remain committed to delivering next year.
"I also know from listening to Government ministers that they remain absolutely committed to their policy.
"Deciding to delay was one of the most difficult decisions we at the NFU, working with those farmers in Somerset and Gloucester, have had to face – but all things considered it was the right decision to make.
"If there is one criticism I will take on the chin it was that we didn't delay earlier.
"We went to the wire because we know how much this means to everyone involved. We focused our efforts on confirming additional resources; training and assessing those that came forward in days rather than weeks in order to have gun licences amended in time.
"In the end it became clear to all it simply couldn't go ahead successfully this year in the time left.
"This has never been about killing badgers this has been about stamping out a disease.
"For those that have suggested that this cull is irresponsible, I think the decision we have made shows this is simply not the case."