Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told the BBC "badgers moved the goalposts" when he was asked why the pilot cull failed to reach its target.
A badger cull in west Somerset has been extended in a bid to make up for the shortfall.
When asked why he had "moved the goalposts" and claimed the cull was a success, Mr Paterson said: "The badgers moved the goalposts.
"We're dealing with a wild animal, subject to the vagaries of the weather and disease and breeding patterns."
More top news
At least 11 were killed as Cyclone Gaja blew ashore in Tamil Nadu state with heavy rain and winds of 55mph.
The previous record for a living artist was American Jeff Koons's Balloon Dog sculptures, which went for £45.6 million in 2013.
Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted she will 'see through' her Brexit plan despite resignations and challenges to her authority.