Leading scientists recently urged the Government to reconsider controversial plans for a badger cull to tackle bovine tuberculosis.
More than 30 animal disease experts, including the president of the Zoological Society of London and professors from Oxbridge and Imperial College London, wrote a letter in the Observer arguing culling badgers could increase the problem of TB in cattle
Last month, Queen's Brian May - who has actively campaigned against a badger cull - said the plans made him "sick to my stomach". He also said "don't tell me vaccination doesn't work".
May also started an e-petition to stop the plans, which currently has over 161,000 signatures
Shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, has welcomed an expected delay to the government's planned badger cull, she told the Guardian:
- It is a move that could result in the shooting of up to 100,000 badgers to protect cattle from bovine tuberculosis.
- The first licence to kill badgers was issued for a pilot cull in Gloucestershire.
- Farmers would be licensed to shoot up to 70% of the badgers in a 300sqm area in Gloucestershire.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch has tweeted:
Badgers will get a reprieve as plans for a cull are to be delayed. But the Government says it is still committed to the policy though.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is expected to make statement on the proposed cull of Badgers in Commons at 12:30pm, according to the BBC.
There have been reports that the cull could be delayed.
The Guardian reports that the government is planning to delay the plans until next year at the earliest, amid increasing concern about the cost and effectiveness of the controversial scheme.
Responding to the apparent Government confusion over the badger cull, Labour's shadow Defra secretary Mary Creagh MP has said:
The controversial cull of badgers in England may be abandoned by the Government because of fast-rising killing costs, The Guardian has reported.
The newspaper quoted a Whitehall source, who said the president of the National Farmers Union believes the rising number of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset has made the impending cull too expensive.