Two trials of badger culling can legally get underway on Saturday 1 June.
Natural England has given the culls final approval, and chosen Dorset as a reserve culling area.
A Government minister has hinted that the region's trial badger culls scheduled for later this year may NOT go ahead in the planned areas.
The three week extension of the badger cull in Somerset has failed to reach its target.
The Government has announced 90 badgers were killed in the period up to Friday, taking the total number killed in the cull area to 940.
That represents a 65% reduction in the badger population - less than the 70% target.
– Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Today I am announcing to the House that the three week extension period in
the Somerset control area concluded as planned on Friday 1st November.
During this period, a further 90 badgers have been removed, giving an overall total of 940 for the first year of the four year cull.
This represents a reduction of 65% in the estimated badger population before culling began.
This will deliver clear disease benefits as part of a four year cull in the area.
A similar cull in Gloucestershire has been extended until December 18th.
The National Trust will not allow the culling of badgers to take place on its land for the foreseeable future.
Members voted at their annual general meeting in Cardiff to allow the current vaccination programme at Killerton in Devon to continue but won't expand the programme nationally.
Culling won't be allowed until more scientific evidence is made available about whether either culling or vaccinating really have an impact on Bovine TB.
The badger cull itself could cause a fresh spread of TB, according to research from the University of Exeter.
The process that aims to contain the spread of the disease disturbs badgers social structures.
Scientists say badgers who carry it are usually shunned, but culling could see TB spread faster.
Queen Star and anti-badger cull campaigner Brian May has called for the resignation of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson over the pilot cull.
The guitarist said Mr Paterson had failed to meet the test of "honesty and transparency" expected by the public.
Statistics from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revealed that the six-week cull, which aimed to kill 70% of the badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset failed to meet targets.
As a result, cull operators applied to Natural England to extend the shooting period.
The Badger Trust has issued a "pre-action protocol letter" over the proposed eight-week extension of the badger cull in Gloucestershire.
An extra three weeks was granted in Somerset, where 60% of the badger population was culled.
A "pre-action protocol letter" to Natural England and the Treasury Solicitor for the Secretary of State Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been actioned by the Trust.
It is the first stage in seeking a judicial review in the High Court, the letter states:
We consider that the decision to extend the cull in Somerset was unlawful, particularly in the light of those documents.
But given that we have only just seen them and given the relatively shorter extension there, we have advised our clients that it would not now be practicable (given the court process) to seek injunctive relief to prevent it.
But that is not the case in relation to the contemplated decision in relation to Gloucestershire not least because of the much longer extension (eight weeks) being sought (and not yet granted) and the fact that our clients have now seen the nature of the arguments being relied on to justify further culling.
The pilot cull of badgers in Somerset is coming to an end. It started six weeks ago. Marksmen were hoping to shoot around 2,000 badgers, 70% of the population. It's part of the Government's plans to control the spread of TB in cattle.
Half way through the badger cull and the Government says it IS on track. It's got three more weeks to run in West Somerset, but there are claims marksmen aren't killing enough badgers to make the trial scientifically worthwhile.
Today Farming Minister David Heath told ITV West Country the cull will be properly assessed at the end of the trial. Our environment correspondent, Duncan Sleightholme reports.
A charity has claimed photos of a dead badger proves the animals are suffering painful deaths as part of the badger cull. Defra however, says the pictures are not connected to the trials.
– Defra spokesperson
We are confident that this is not connected to the pilot culls.
All badgers killed as part of the pilot culls have been shot cleanly and killed instantly.
The animal rescue centre Secret World in Highbridge, Somerset, says a post mortem on a dead badger (pictured) proves the animals are suffering painful deaths as part of the badger cull. It is the first photo released of a culled badger.
They say that the position of the badger's organs outside its body - which is too graphic to publish - and the fact it was found away from its sett, show that it did not die instantaneously, but ran away mortally wounded.
The rock star and wildlife campaigner Brian May has apologised for using the term 'genocide' to describe the badger cull pilots taking place in the West of England.
The Queen musician's alleged remarks were made during a visit to Gloucestershire last week and caused a backlash among members of the Jewish community.
Writing on his website, May said he could not remember using the phrase "genocide in the countryside," but that he had given some 20 interviews and may have lost track.
May said he had no intention to "slight the Jewish community" but maintained it was "not a very big flight of fancy" to refer to the killing of animals in this way.
"The word I prefer to use about the badger cull is 'massacre' ... because really the word 'cull' is enormously euphemistic," he added.