Environment Secretary Owen Paterson's undoubted commitment to a successful badger cull to start to rid England of bovine TB was praised today (Wednesday, 9 October) by the CLA.
Mr Paterson said the Somerset cull had managed to eliminate three-fifths of badgers in Somerset area making a major and effective contribution to the fight against bovine TB in the county. He added that applications for a short time extension had been received by Natural England for Somerset and Gloucestershire.
CLA Deputy President Henry Robinson said: "The cull has proved challenging and badger numbers were far lower than expected, but progress is clearly being made in a safe, humane and effective way.
"Mr Paterson's commitment to completely eliminating bovine TB cannot be doubted.
"The progress that has been made is an important first step in the 25-year action plan to rid England of this terrible disease which led to 38,000 cattle being slaughtered in Britain in 2012.
"It is absolutely right that time extensions are being considered for both Somerset and Gloucestershire.
"Government and farming are working together to start to put an end to an appalling disease that we cannot afford to ignore."