This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Culling operations ceased on Saturday 30 November, following discussions between the cull company in West Gloucestershire, Natural England and the NFU that the license for the extension would end.
The decision was taken based on the decreasing number of badgers seen by contractors over recent weeks which made achieving a further significant reduction in the coming weeks unlikely.
Figures show that in the additional 5 weeks and 3 days of culling, 213 badgers have been removed, giving an overall total of 921. This represents a reduction of just under 40% in the estimated badger population before culling began.
The Independent Panel of Experts will now consider the information collected during the pilots on the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of controlled shooting. This will inform decisions on the wider roll-out of badger control in those parts of England most severely affected by this disease.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said in a statement to parliament:
The aim of the extension was to achieve the earliest and greatest possible impact on bTB in the area, in line with the Chief Veterinary Officer’s advice that a further significant reduction of the badger population in the first year would increase the likelihood of disease benefits in cattle over the full four years of the cull.
The decision to extend has been shown to be the right one, with significant numbers of badgers removed at the point that the extension was ended.