Environment Secretary Owen Paterson came under fire today over an "incompetent and shambolic" policy after a planned cull of badgers was postponed until next summer.
The pilot culls, which it is hoped will combat the spread of TB in cattle, were delayed after farmers said they may not be able to kill enough of the wild animals.
Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said farmers and taxpayers had been "left counting the cost" of the policy.
In a statement to MPs, Mr Paterson said culling had been delayed by the Olympics, legal proceedings and bad weather.
He said the National Farmers Union (NFU) had written to him requesting that the culls be postponed but insisted that the policy remained in place.
"I remain fully committed to working with the farming industry to ensure that pilot culls can be delivered effectively, safely and humanely next summer," he said.
Ms Creagh labelled the move "another U-turn"
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