Natural England has released a statement giving its reasons why it has chosen to end the extended pilot badger cull in West Gloucestershire early.
This decision has been taken based on the decreasing number of badgers seen by contractors over recent weeks which makes achieving a further significant reduction in the coming weeks unlikely. The end of the cage-trapping season tomorrow was agreed by the cull company and Natural England as a sensible point to stop activity.
Defra will update Parliament on Monday with the final number of badgers removed during the extension period.
The eight-week licence extension was granted by Natural England on 23 October.
Natural England has released a statement saying that it has agreed with the company undertaking the pilot badger cull in west Gloucestershire that culling operations will cease tomorrow (Saturday, 30 November).
It adds that, following discussions with the NFU, the cull company and Natural England, the licence for the extension of this year’s pilot cull will stop with effect from noon on Saturday.
The licence for the cull - which was introduced to curb the spread of TB in cattle had been extended as not enough badgers had been killed for the trial.
Hundreds of protesters are expected to turn out in Derby later to campaign against the government's badger cull.
The event has been organised by the Derbyshire Branch of the Badger Trust, and wildlife charity Care for the Wild.
Speakers, including leading anti-cull spokesperson Dominic Dyer from Care for the Wild, will discuss the cull which aimed to kill over 5000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Dominic Dyer said: “I’ve worked in the farming industry all my life, and this is the worst agricultural policy I’ve seen in 30 years.
"I’m sympathetic to farmers, but culling badgers simply won’t work. Ordinary people from around the country want to protest against this barbaric cull, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of them come to Derby."
The pilot badger cull in Gloucestershire was introduced to try to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis carried by badgers.