Glos badger cull falls short

The number of badgers shot in Gloucestershire has fallen short of its target, the Government has announced.

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Badger cull to be extended in Gloucestershire

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the chief veterinary officer has advised that the period of culling badgers should be extended in Gloucestershire.

In a written statement to Parliament, Mr Paterson said the cull has killed 708 of an estimated 2,350 badgers in the county - less than 30% of the total rather than the 70% that had been planned.

Less than 30% of badgers in Gloucestershire have been culled compared to the target of 70%. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Mr Paterson said an application is being considered by Natural England.

He told the House of Commons that early indications showed the culls in both Gloucestershire and neighbouring Somerset were carried out in a "safe and humane" way, but demonstrated that "the cull period may need to be longer than six weeks in future".

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Full report: possible gassing of badgers

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson hinted today that badgers could be gassed rather than shot, in the effort to control TB in cattle.

One Labour MP called on him to resign after it was revealed that the trial culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire might have to be extended because not enough animals had been killed.

Mr Paterson insisted the policy had been a success - but suggested that alternative methods were being looked at, as Bob Constantine reports.

Call for Environment Sec to resign over badger cull

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson faced further criticism today over the controversial cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire. One Labour MP called on him to resign after it was revealed that the culls might have to be extended because not enough animals had been shot.

Mr Paterson insisted the policy had been a success - but hinted that alternative methods were being looked at, as Bob Constantine reports.

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Anger at badger cull extension

Campaigners have reacted angrily after it emerged that badger culls in Somerset could continue for another three weeks because not enough animals have been killed.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the culls could now be extended.

The six week trial in west Somerset has killed 850 badgers - but that's some way short of the 2000 target.

Our environment correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports.

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