A Cornish MP and farming minister has said the badger cull should be rolled out in other areas next year.
George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth and a Defra minister, said the Government was planning to continue and expand the controversial cull.
A roll-out could mean culling in Cornwall and Devon – both considered bovine TB hotspots.
According to Farmers Weekly, Mr Eustice told the NFU tenant farmers’ conference today: “We are minded to go on next year and roll the cull out more widely.”
The MP said the cull carried out this year in West Somerset showed the viability of the scheme.
“We think it has demonstrated that the culls we carried out were safe, humane and effective,” he told delegates at the Pavilions of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
“If we had hit 70% earlier we would have stopped because we don’t want to annihilate the badger population – 70% was our maximum target.
“I think it has been actually quite successful.”
Mr Eustice acknowledged there had been a more “difficult time” in Gloucestershire.