Hilary Benn is expected to reject calls for a badger cull, reports Farmer’s Weekly today, after asking for more time to make a decision.

Badger culling was being considered by Defra secretary (Department for the Enviornment, Food and Rural Affairs) Mr Benn in an effort to stop the spread of bovine tubercolosis (TB), with a firm decision expected at the end of April.

Mr Benn is now likely to hold off making a decision on the badger cull until mid-June. In a letter to Defra’s select committee chairman Michael Jack, Mr Benn apparently asks for more time to consider the ‘complex problem’.

Jonathan Shaw, junior Defra minister said: ‘There is a great deal of complex evidence to consider and the matter is receiving our attention.’

Country Life reported recently that Elin Jones, the rural affairs minister, announced a decision at the Welsh Assembly to cull badgers for the first time in Britain for 20 years, after Dr Christianne Glossop, Wales’s chief vet, declared TB ‘out of control’.

8,000 badgers tested positive for TB last year, compared to 700 in 1997. Hilary Benn is expected to reject calls for a badger cull in England, however, as reported in today’s Farmer’s Weekly.

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