The Government is make an announcement on the badger cull at 12.30pm today amid widespread speculation that the pilot culls in the Westcountry are to be delayed by up to a year.
The news will infuriate many farmers who are losing thousands of cattle to bovine TB, believed to be spread by infected badgers.
But anti-cull protesters and animal welfare organisations who have been campaigning against the culls, will be delighted.
The shooting of badgers was to have started in Gloucestershire and West Somerset shortly.
But surveys have found many more badgers in both areas than first thought, making an efficient cull of 70% of the mammals – essential to reduce bovine TB – impractical before the badger breeding season begins in the winter.