The president of the British Veterinary Association says he hopes today's decision to delay badger cull plans for parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire does not reflect a change in Government policy.
Peter Jones said delaying the cull until next year "could make sense" and that "the science has not changed".
“Although this news will be a severe blow to the vets and farmers who are battling against bovine TB on a daily basis, we need to wait for the Secretary of State’s statement to hear the reasons behind any delay, and we very much hope this will not reflect a change in policy," said Mr Jones.
“As we get later in the season we must recognise that it becomes less likely for a cull to be delivered effectively and so it could make sense to delay until next year.
“It is important to note that the speculation is that the cull is being delayed due to questions surrounding the logistics of delivery. The science has not changed.
“Scientists agree that culling badgers does reduce the levels of infection in cattle herds, and we know that no country has dealt with bovine TB without tackling the disease in wildlife."